The North West Counties Football League
Published 16th June 2012
....season has finally started to settle with the appointment of Ian Granite to their managerial ‘hot-seat’.
Granite joins Town following last season’s success as manager of Wigan Robin Park reserves, who were crowned NWCL Reserve Division champions and the Wigan Cup winners, courtesy of a 3-0 final victory over Ashton Athletic.
He will be joined by former Town player Stephen Edwards who will become assistant-manager.
Granite becomes the club’s third manager in just over two weeks and his appointment follows the departures of both Lloyd Morrison and Gary Bickerstaffe.
Morrison was appointed following a lengthy application and interview process and was in place for just five days when he stepped down. The club acted swiftly by approaching former player and manager Gary Bickerstaffe and his appointment seemed to restore calm at the club.
Town chairman John McKiernan takes up the club’s incredible tale of managerial mayhem. “Parting company with one manager after just five days after confirming his appointment is something you don’t really expect to happen, and having then decided to approach Gary we were delighted when he accepted our offer.
“I was about to set off for a week in the sun and spoke to Gary on the afternoon of my departure and everything looked to be back on track after a frantic couple of days.
“Unfortunately less than a week later and while still abroad, I received a text from club Secretary Jeff Voller informing me that Gary had stepped down! I accessed the email Gary had sent and had a conversation with him and I fully understand his reasons.
“Gary had simply allowed his heart to rule his head when accepting the manager’s role and after a busy week juggling work, football activities and a young family, he felt he had no option but to step down.
“Despite my obvious disappointment and the fact that this left the club in an embarrassing and precarious situation it was difficult to fault Gary. Maybe my desire to act quickly to restore order to the club after the departure of Lloyd Morrison days earlier had forced the club and Gary into hasty partnership. There are certainly no hard feelings and I understand that Gary has already spoken with Ian regarding players, training and fixtures.
“Hopefully it’s now time to put the past couple of weeks behind us, and with Ian taking the managerial reins I am confident that we can now get on with the hard work of pre-season activities.”
Granite added: “I would like to thank the committee for giving me the opportunity to manage a club with such history.
“I am looking forward to starting pre-season and getting to know the lads and hopefully getting the club back to where they should and the fans expect us to be. It's a fantastic challenge but one I will relish.”