DAME Blackshaw is expecting a seamless transition after being appointed manager of Mossley AFC Women.
The 43-year-old from Stalybridge had been assistant to Chris Brooks for the last four years at Curzon Ashton Ladies and latterly Mossley.
And Blackshaw believes there is huge potential in the side which plays in the premier division of the Greater Manchester League.
“It’s an absolute honour for me to be manager of such a talented group. We play the right way and are attractive to watch,” he explained.
“I know the girls really well and had a good response from them since taking over.
“It’s a shame we have managed only one training session before the latest lockdown was imposed.”
Blackshaw, who works as a manager at Greggs’ bakery in Glossop, has his sights set on promotion to the North West Counties League.
They were well placed last season and this, though frustratingly it is increasing likely a second season will be deemed null and void.
“The only positive is we are a young side, and we will be all the better for another year’s experience.”
It was in the summer of 2019 that Brooks and Blackshaw moved a women’s team from Curzon Ashton to Mossley where they have built up a sizeable fan base.
“Everyone at Mossley has been absolutely fantastic and our crowds are growing. We want to create a team the town is proud of,” he explained.
Blackshaw, a former midfield player in Oldham Athletic’s academy, later played amateur and Sunday league football before coaching at Dukinfield Youth and Curzon Ashton Ladies.
He has appointed Dave Dickin as assistant manager and Adam MacDonald as coach. Both were part of the previous regime.
Brooks will remain involved with Mossley Women behind the scenes assisting with the admin.
“I would prefer to say I have retired rather than resign after 20 years’ coaching,” he said.
Brooks, 35, added he had always intended to stand down this season.
He explained: “I have coached my eldest daughter (Ellie Price) since the age of six.
“She is about to go to university, and I have always been her manager and parent. I have long said I wanted to watch her last games simply as a parent.”
Brooks, who began a successful coaching career aged 15, added since standing down he had received offers from five clubs, one from an unnamed big one.
He said: “I will still be behind the scenes doing the admin and ensuring Dame has a smooth takeover.
“And if Dame is not available for any game or training session, I would be happy to step in.”