JIM Gannon believes he can use his vast managerial experience – a remarkable 748 matches – to help improve Hyde United.
The 52-year-old was chosen to be the Tigers’ new manager from a list of more than 40 applicants to succeed Dave McGurk.
And Gannon was already at work before his appointment as he was a spectator for the home wins against Grantham Town and FC United under caretaker manager John McCombe.
Gannon said: “I watched those victories and saw them play extremely well.
“They are dangerous attacking and clearly a good team, a good blend of experience and quality young players.
“But I have seen why they are conceding goals and hopefully I can bring organisation, coaching and the tactical side to the team.”
Gannon added the squad, which has been badly hit by injuries and the retirement of key midfielder Kingsley James, needs strengthening.
He continued: “Ten players started all six games before I joined which shows they have a tight matchday squad.
“Kingsley stepping away is one position we need to fill, and we need three or four players to give strength and make an impact off the bench.”
Gannon, who described Hyde as a great community club, added it will be a case of evolution rather revolution, explaining: “I am not coming in to change things but embrace the philosophy that is already here and the way they play and develop it.
“There are clearly a solid group of players and a great dressing room and atmosphere which has been built over a number of years.
“There are certain dynamics that work but there are areas which need tightening and improving which is where I hope I can help.
“I want to help players develop as individuals and then that also benefits the team collectively.”
Gannon, who has managed three spells at Stockport, Dundalk, Motherwell, Peterborough and Port Vale, is no stranger to the Northern Premier League having been boss at Northwich Victoria between 2013-16.
He said: “The NPL is really competitive, you only have to look at South Shields who are full time.
“I am familiar with a lot of clubs. I have had players on loan at NPL clubs in recent years so have watched them.”
Gannon added it will be a case of growing organically and for it to be sustainable.
He said: “Clubs like South Shields and Buxton have invested heavily and must be frustrated not to have won promotion, mainly through Covid.
“We cannot compete with them financially, so we have to build our infrastructure sensibly and see where that takes us.
“Money gives you power but power also comes with coaching rather than over investing.
“When I was at Stockport, we won National League North while part time when we were up against several full-time sides, and we bucked the trend.
“There is something to be gained from being full time, but it comes at a massive cost, and it is more about how a team operates.
“Sutton United were head and shoulders over everybody else in the National League last season but didn’t have the biggest budget.“Our growth has to be organic. I have built teams of young players and developed their potential to become better players.
“I am hoping to take the Hyde players on that same journey.”
Gannon, who was sacked by Stockport County in January, will take charge of Hyde alongside his day job as manager of Oldham Athletic’s football education programme where he works with scholars aged between 16 and 18 years.
He admitted to itching to return to management – not long before he left Stockport he reached the landmark of 500 games for the club, both as a player and manager.
Gannon said: “In previous times in football I have had difficult times and fallen out of love with the game.
“When I left Stockport, I was proud of what I achieved and missed management from the day I left. It is great to be back.”
Gannon added he has no immediate plans to bring in other backroom staff saying he will first assess what he has inherited.
He said: “I will get to know the other staff and draw on the experience of the captain and senior players and then decide whether I need to appoint an assistant or coach.
“I do not have an entourage which comes with me, but I have good people I can call upon if I need support in terms of scouting, fitness and development.”
Gannon admitted it will be hectic combining his day job, managing Hyde and also being involved in several charity initiatives in Stockport.
He said: “It will be an extremely busy period and I need to give Hyde a lot of attention.
“I am a well organised person as I have juggled three different jobs before. It is a case of balancing work, life and work.
“I am respectful of part-time managers and players who have to deal with a full-time job, family and part-time football.”
Pete Ainger, Hyde’s general manager and a director of the club, explained that Gannon was the stand-out candidate.
He said: “Jim stood out in terms of his CV and his level of experience from managing in the EFL to at Northwich Victoria which is a lower league than ours.
“He also has his UEFA Pro Licence which hardly any managers at our level had.
“When we drew up a shortlist and had interviews, Jim stood out head and shoulders above the others.”
Mr Ainger added Gannon’s impressive record of developing young players also came into the equation.
He said: “We have a pyramid structure involving the juniors and academy and seen the likes of Paddy Lane, Cameron Fogerty and Carter Waters progress to the first team.
“And because of injuries, Jim had already brought in U21 players James Thewlis and Bradley Page.”