New regime at Denton Town aims for the top

NEW managers, new players, new captain, new ethos and new broom at Denton Town this season – but still the same aim.

Darren Green and Phil Cooper

Promotion back to where they were – preferably by winning the league.

Phil Cooper and Darren Green have come in to lead Town back to the Cheshire League, Premier Division after relegation.

The joint managers have already assembled a squad, with only a few of the faces that played at Whittle’s Park last season remaining, and there could be more to come.

And joint-manager Cooper, who came over with his friend – who may end up playing for them this term – from Manchester League side Dukinfield Town, spelled out the turnaround they have overseen and their aim.

He said: “When we took over, we had zero players left who were here last season – now we’ve got a squad of 18 or 19.

“A couple of young players who were in our Under-18s have stepped up and we’ve managed to keep three of the lads from last season.

“A lot of the new faces are people we knew from the local football scene and we’ve quite a few contacts at different clubs.

“We even had quite a few approach us through social media.

“Now we’re looking for quality rather than just numbers and we’re always in the market for quality players.

“There’s a lot more to do as a manager at this level than if you were at Manchester United or Manchester City!

“But the aim is simple – to go back up and what better way of doing that than winning the league?

The new era, which coincides with Denton Town’s centenary year, started on Tuesday, August 6 with the opening fixture against Maine Road Reserves.

And Cooper, who is still only 28-years-old, is particularly excited about two players that have come in.

He added: “Getting Phil Pole as goalkeeper was a massive statement of intent for what we’re trying to do.

“He actually stepped away from football for a year as he works as a policeman but he’s one of the best around.

“We played Mossley in pre-season and if I was their manager, I’d have been asking for his number.

“Ryan Liddle as well will be a good addition. He’s going to be our captain on the field while Mike Bennett will remain as club captain.

“We’ve also been working a lot on our style of play, which will see us keeping the ball on the floor as much as we can.

“Phil isn’t the kind of goalkeeper who will punt a ball down the field long and as the saying goes, ‘Opponents can’t hurt you if they haven’t got the ball.’

“They can’t score, can’t win, can’t do anything and even though we only have the lads once or twice a week, rather than every day like full-time clubs do, we believe we can get them playing how we want.

“We’re still looking at a few different ways we want to play if I’m being honest and the main thing is giving the players the confidence to be able to play.

“I’m happy with the start of the season we’ve been given and the midweek games we’ve got aren’t too far away either, which means fewer clashes with work commitments.

“We had a consistent set of lads throughout pre-season and I’m happy and quite positive that in nine months’ time, we’ll be talking about promotion or even a league title win.”

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