New boss Steve McCormick raring to go at Drayton
New boss Steve McCormick insists he is relishing the challenge after taking charge at Market Drayton Town.
After more than a decade in what he describes an apprenticeship on top of 14 years as a full-time pro, McCormick can’t wait to lead Drayton into a new season.
“It really can’t come soon enough for me,” said the Scot, cock-a-hoop at his appointment to take over the job relinquished by Martyn Davies.
McCormick steps up from assistant manager, a position he has held on and off over the years since initially joining the club as a player under Simon Line.
In a continuing Greenfields shuffle intended to maintain continuity, first-team coach Nick Roberts takes on McCormick’s job as assistant manager while John Timmis is promoted to coach.
While McCormick’s first managerial appointment was from Line, he’s also been assistant to Town’s present club chairman, Mick Murphy, and since 2016, Davies.
“It’s been a long and good apprenticeship,” he jokes before adding, in all seriousness: “I’ve served my time; now I intend to put it to good use.
“Drayton Town have done wonderfully well to maintain this level of football in the town for 10 years and having been here so long, I’ll not be letting that go on my watch.
“I’d love if we could start next season with a couple of good little cup runs for the supporters and, let’s face it, we’re a club that needs the money. But staying in the Evo-Stck Northern Premier is our absolute priority.
“Nicky, John and I all get on well together and we’ve a good group of players who I thought were desperately unlucky in so many games last season.
“Non-league close season is always a time of change so we may bring in others but they’ll not be changes for changes sake.We’re arranging a series of meetings for the lads over the next few weeks to put them all in the picture.
“Three pre-season friendly games are provisionally lined up against higher grade opposition as we want to get off on the right foot.”
Continuity was the keynote to McCormick’s appointment, said chairman Murphy. “We wanted someone to build on what has been achieved and Steve has been with us for 12 years and knows what makes our teams tick,” he said.
“We had a great deal of interest from outside the club; a lot of applications to consider - but continuity had to be paramount.”
McCormick was a highly effective, if much-travelled striker in 14 years as a full-time professional with Scottish clubs Queens Park, Stirling Albion - where his 25 goals in a season were instrumental in them winning promotion - Dundee, Clydebank and Dumbarton.
A move to English soccer started with a spell at Leyton Orient and he then spent time with Welsh clubs Newtown, Connah’s Quay and Cwmbran before joining Town as a crafty, seasoned spearhead to some of their glory years under Line.
As his playing options subsided, he became more committed off the field, to the point that after a short spell at Wem Town was cut short by a heart attack, he returned to Greenfields, fighting back to full fitness and, now, the top job.
n Meanwhile, Martyn Davies is planning a surprise early comeback to lead Town into one last fixture – their end-of-season presentation night and party, at the Greenfields clubhouse on Friday week, May 24. The usual round of assorted player-of-the-year awards will be unveiled, augmented by a vote for “biggest blunders of the season”. All are welcome and entry’s free, with a buffet and bar, starting at 7 for 7.30pm.
n Town’s AGM is being held next Thursday with a 7pm start.