The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 3rd June 2012
.....slightly different look to it next season with Martin Rowe stepping up to work alongside long-serving manager Gary Norton to form a new-look joint managerial team.
The move will ensure that Norton can better balance his commitments outside of football in order to remain involved with the club he loves.
Rowe has been assistant manager for the last three seasons and took on more responsibilities in his role last season to help with the manager's increased work commitments.
However, with no sign of things relenting in that respect, the duo have come up with the compromise that will enable Norton to remain involved at the helm for his tenth season and Gresley's first back in the Northern Premier League after a three-year absence. Explaining the move Norton commented: "I'm delighted we have agreed a way in which I can remain here after the success we've achieved in gaining back to back promotions.
"Last season I informed the club of my intention to step down due to the strain of trying to balance increasing work commitments with both my football and home life.
"However, our chairman Barry North persuaded me to stay on and give it a go and I'm delighted he did as things worked well and we ended up having a fantastic season culminating in us winning the Midland Alliance at our first attempt.
"Having said that it was very difficult to fit everything in and without my backroom team helping so much it would have been impossible to do the job to the high standards I expect.
"Because of how tough I found it last season I had a couple of weeks thinking things through but when it came down to it I just couldn't walk away. We have a great team of people at Gresley on both the playing and non-playing side and I'm so proud to be involved with such a great club.
"Also, having led the side back to the level we were at before the old club was liquidated I really wanted to find a way to remain here and that's when the idea that Martin and I manage the side jointly came up."
Norton added: "From the players' perspective they will notice very little change to the way we already work together in the dressing room. However, the big difference for me will be in the many other areas of the job which need dealing with and in particular those on non-match or training days where Martin and I will now share more of the burden between us.
"Time will tell of course but from my point of view this change will make a huge difference and allow me to find a much better balance with both my work and home life.
"It's also recognition for the huge amount of work Rowey has put in since I brought him to the club and for that alone he fully deserves this opportunity."
Rowe has a wealth of experience as a manager with previous spells at Belper Town, Mickleover Sports and Shepshed Dynamo and that experience has served him well during three successful years as assistant-manager.
Rowe said: "It's great that Gary is to remain involved with the club. Having stayed here through the dark days of liquidation it would have been a shame if he walked away having got the club back to the level it was previously.
"Gaz and I are very close in the way we work together so in many respects things won't change too much from how they work now. But when he suggested this as a way of enabling him to remain at the club I jumped at it and I'm more than happy to share more of the general responsibilities involved in managing the club.
"We've discussed in detail how things will work and I can't wait to get pre-season started in preparation for the new campaign."
Speaking about preparations for the new season, Rowe added: "We've pretty much spoken to all of last season's squad and hope to retain as many of them as possible going forwards.
"Gaz and I want to try to give those lads that got us promotion the chance in the Evo-Stik NPL but at the same time there are a few areas of the squad we need to strengthen or add competition if we are to compete.
"With that in mind we've spoken to a number of potential new players over the last couple of weeks and will see what develops during pre-season".
Meanwhile, Steve Titterton will step up from his role on the coaching staff to support Norton and Rowe as assistant-manager, whilst the club has also confirmed that first-team coach Lee Barrow has indicated that he will also remain at The Moat for the forthcoming season.