Blue Square Bet
Published 8th June 2012
While the Knitters retained their place in the second tier of non-League football through the four-division demotion of Darlington from the Conference Premier, Thomas has been handed the chance to lead the side into the 2012/13 campaign, stretching his allegiance to the club to a sixteenth season.
And Thomas is delighted with the opportunity to continue his reign at a club where he is one of the longest-serving bosses in the semi-professional game.
There had been much talk among the fans of someone new coming in to take over but Thomas’s desire for the job has never faltered and the club hierarchy still believe he is the right man for the job.
Thomas said: “The board met and voted for me to stay as manager. We had good discussions and I put my case forward.
“We talked of the situation and that things need to improve throughout the club and they said they will support me.
“Hopefully things will be better this year on a financial level. We’ve had a slight reduction in the budget, which was always going to happen and that is the way things are in football at the moment.
“But now we know the budget we can sit down with players we want to keep and release those we don’t. The club also has to play its part in making sure that the structure remains in place.”
Thomas has moved swiftly to secure the services of Jack Lane and Declan Towers, both of whom joined from now ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League neighbours Oadby Town.
Lane, a 19-year-old midfielder, and Towers, 20, who can play at centre half and full-back, have also been joined by goalkeeper Scott Furlong, who was on the books at Nottingham Forest last season.
Thomas said: “Jack is a tough little player, while Declan is a tough defender and I think both can make the step up to this level.
“Scott Furlong has been released by Forest where he has been for two years. “These are young players but it is important I am prepared to give them a chance. We have got to inject a new freshness into the place and also into the players but I am also speaking to experienced players as well.
“I’m going to sit down with Dan Newton, Richard Lavery, Tom Byrne, Paul Lister and Mark Dudley to speak to them while we’ve already retained Ben Richards-Everton.”
Thomas has made Carl Heggs his assistant-manager for the new season and the 41-year-old will bring experience from his time managing King`s Lynn and Redditch United and as chief scout at Notts County.
Thomas added: “I don’t want us to just survive. I want to be pushing us up the table and if we can get a good start then that can create a really good changing room to be in.”