Belper Town, who will be playing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier East next season, have announced the appointment of Grant Black as their new first-team manager.
Black will be supported by former Belper player, Mick Norbury and Steve Ridley, who will also be registered as a player for the club.
Black, 34, was recently manager at Evo-Stik Leasgue North side Ossett Town and brings with him a wealth of playing experience in a career that started at Barnsley and went on to include spells at Harrogate Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Buxton, Bradford Park Avenue and North Ferriby United.
More recently, Black was player-coach under Mark Hume at Matlock Town before taking up the reins at Ossett Town where he took them to the divisional play-offs in 2017.
Announcing the decision, managing director Dave Laughlin told the club`s Pitchero website: “Grant was the unanimous choice of the panel, despite facing competition from a number of highly respected individuals.
“He impressed us with his knowledge of the Evo-Stik League and what it takes to be successful at this level.
“He has a great track record in the game and his professionalism, his passion for success alongside Mick and Steve, and his desire to turn the club’s fortunes around, made him the clear choice for the job.
“We welcome Grant and his team to the Marston’s Stadium and we look forward to seeing their impact on the fortunes of the club. We are sure that our supporters will be equally excited at the prospect of what he can bring to the club.”
Black himself was thrilled to secure the position, saying: “From my perspective I’m excited and proud at becoming the new manager at Belper Town.
“We have had lots of opportunities since leaving our last post but various reasons, have not felt right.
“Belper, however, ticked all the boxes we were looking for in our next project we feel if we get it right on the pitch the club has massive potential to progress up the football Pyramid.
“We were very successful on and off the field at our last club and we will be looking to do the same and more.
“Belper fans will be assured they will have a team that will be 110% committed to the football club and will give that commitment every time they wear the shirt.
“We want to build a team that can compete at this level and we hope to see the town get behind us and build a spirit between players and fans that will make teams coming to Belper envious.
“We will now start preparing for pre-season and can’t wait to get started.”
Laughlin has spoken about how the club is facing the challenges head-on and what’s in store for the club as the Nailers prepare for the new season.
Laughlin said “There is no doubt that these are challenging times for the club but with the drive and enthusiasm of the remaining and new board members, we can rebuild the club after a difficult season.
“We have appointed Grant Black and his managerial team to lead the club next season and I’m confident that he will attract the right calibre of players to make a real impact in the league.
“Off the field, we are in the process of appointing two new directors both of whom are local businessman and supporters of the club. Both men will bring a wealth of commercial experience to the boardroom and we are delighted to have them on board.
“We’ve also been tremendously fortunate that we have appointed Steven Hunt as our new Stadium Manager and he will oversee all aspects of stadium management and ground developments. Steven is also a keen supporter of the club and is just the type of person we need to help us make progress.
“Andy Hunt as also come on board to revamp the club’s image and media output and we will see the fruits of his labours as the months go by.”
“We are very fortunate that we own our own stadium, we have facilities that are as good as any club at our level and our finances are manageable. We are also in discussions with Amber Valley Borough Council about acquiring land on which to develop a new artificial training pitch at the stadium and we hope to make progress on this over the next 12 months.”
“We still have a long way to go and filling the gap left by the departing directors remains a major challenge, but we have started on this fresh journey and we plan to put a smile back on the faces of players, officials and supporters as we move forward.
“We will be holding a supporters` meeting shortly to give everyone an opportunity of giving their views on how the club should move forward and to ask the board and the new management team any questions about the club and its ambitions”.