New Heanor Town boss targets strong second half to the season

New Heanor Town boss Paul Postlethwaite
New Heanor Town boss Paul Postlethwaite

Heanor Town boss Paul Postlethwaite believes only “minor tweaks” are needed following on from the work done by Glen Clarence and Steve Hamilton.

Postlethwaite, who was assistant manager at the club, was appointed the new Lions manager after both Clarence and Hamilton stepped down from their first team roles.

The new era got off to a winning start on Saturday when a 35th-minute Jamie Sleigh goal sealed a 1-0 win over rock-bottom Shawbury United in the MFL Premier Division.

And now the new man at the helm is keen to continue where Clarence and Hamilton left off in building a Heanor side with strong local links as well as an attacking flair.

Postlethwaite said: “The size of the club, the junior set up and what they’re trying to do all appealed to me.

“They’re trying to get the pathways from under-sixes all the way through to under-16s, under-21s and reserves.

“They’re trying to get local lads in and playing for the club. If you look at the first team at the minute there’s two or three over-30s. All the rest are 24 and below.

“We had three or four 18-year-old lads in the squad on Saturday and they’re all local lads. No-one travelled very far to come and play.

“That’s the model Heanor Town are trying to produce and it’s exciting if you can do something like that.

“If you’re going to back your local club you want to see local lads in it and that’s the idea the club has.

“If we can get local lads in, local interest and more people through the gate then that’ll expand our squad and help these youngsters by bringing some experienced players in.

“It’s all right bringing the kids through but they still need a role model and someone to learn from. We need the experienced footballers to guide these young lads a little bit.”

Postlethwaite has previous experience of management at Belper United before he joined Heanor in the summer to work alongside Clarence and Hamilton.

“I came in at the start of the year to help him with the academy, under-21s and the reserves. Steve Huntington left and Glen gave me the opportunity,” said Postlethwaite.

“You don’t turn down the chance to work with someone as good as Glen, so I went for it. Both he and Hammo (Steve Hamilton) have taught me a lot. I’m glad they trusted me.

“They’ve trusted me with the reins, which is fantastic, there’s so few opportunities in management come up at Step 5 with a club the size of Heanor - certainly can’t turn it down.”

Postlethwaite has named Dan Newton as his assistant at The Town Ground.

“We’re very much looking to carry on the good work of Glen (Clarence) and Hammo (Steve Hamilton) and we’ll make just little tweaks where we see fit,” he said.

“Everyone’s got their different ideas in football - and that’s part of why we love it - it’s all opinionated and based on different people’s opinions.

“There won’t be a lot of changes. There’ll be one or two tweaks. We’ll try and strengthen the squad a little bit. We’ve lost one or two in the past couple of weeks.

“We’re more than happy with what we’ve got as was shown on Saturday.”

And added: “We can’t defend and defend until you get beaten, we need to score goals. We want to create chances and take chances so we will be an attacking side.

“We will try and play as much football as you can even though the pitches are really heavy at the moment. Attacking football is the way forward for us.”

Heanor sit eighth in the league table and, with a MFL League Cup quarter-final to come, Postlethwaite is looking for a strong second half to the season.

“It’s a difficult league,” he said. “When you’re up against bottom of the league in your first game and you’re expected to win, the league’s that good, there are no givens.

“We play Westfield next week and they’re an excellent side. There won’t be much difference between bottom of the league and Westfield that sit a couple of points behind us.

“If I can match the points tally from the first half of the season in the second then that’ll be a good start. That’ll keep us top seven or eight in the table.

“We’ve got a quarter final in the League Cup to look forward to as well so a cup final would be nice and to finish in the league as high as we possibly can is our aim.”