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The ups & down of Manchester management

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Words by Richard Scott

Trafford boss Tom Baker believes there are good and bad points about being based in Greater Manchester as a football club.

The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North side are based less than half an hour from Manchester’s city centre and face a number of clubs in the area competing. In NonLeague football alone there are 20 clubs as well as another six who currently play in the Football League.

Baker explains the bad points: “The only difficulty with being so many teams in the local area is recruitment, you speak to managers before we play, not Manchester clubs- teams from outside the area, they say you are in a good location to pick up players.

“Which is right, but on the other hand because we have so many clubs in the area and with all due respect to ourselves we are one of the smaller clubs as they are a number of clubs which higher league and financial status.

“So that for me is the only thing that is bad the clubs in the area as it makes recruitment quite hard.”

The North compete with four other clubs from the local area for honours in the first division and that is not including sides such as Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City who are not too far away in Lancashire.

It means that the club isn’t having to do as much travelling as some clubs have to do.

He said: “Yes it’s one plus point, there a couple of big distance games in our league.

“But nothing compared to what you have in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, which is supposed to be Northern based, there is still some long distances in that league.

“However it’s something that doesn’t bother me whether you have to get a coach to the game or you can meet up in cars.

“It’s handy having a lot of local teams, however with that it brings challenges because as I said everyone is fighting over the same players.”

The Shawe View outfit meet one of those Manchester based sides in Mossley this weekend as they look to keep pace with their fellow title contenders, a task which took a blow in midweek as they lost 2-0 at Prescot Cables.

The former Halifax Town man said: “We are hoping to get the win.

“But with Mossley, there is a little bit of a rivalry between the two sides, we have taken a few players from there over the last season or so.

“They are a side, who are really big and physical, they are not afraid to put themselves about so we will know that it will be a tough test.

“But hopefully we will get a couple of bodies available for the game, but we won’t be at full strength and will need to perform on the day if we want to take anything on the day.”

The club has had somewhat of an injury crisis over the last month as they have lost seven first-team players to even injury or suspension, so much so Baker had to name himself and Assistant Manager Chris Shuker, the former Barnsley man who played 100 times for the Tykes for their trip down the A6.

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