New Sheffield FC manager Mark Shaw says work has already begun for his first season in charge of the world’s oldest football club.
Shaw, aged 33, from Dronfield, was named as Club’s top man a fortnight ago but team affairs were left in the hands of caretaker-manager Ian Whitehorne for the final two matches of the Evo-Stick First Division South campaign.
After a non-league career which saw him play for a number of big names including Forest Green and Tamworth, Shaw has finally made it home. And he says he can’t wait to get started:
He said: “I’ve been around the local scene for years but I’ve never played for anyone like Stocksbridge, Staveley, Hallam or Sheffield.
“It’s great to get a job in my home city at last.
“We’re already getting on with plans for next season and putting things in place with the backroom team.”
Shaw, who had a spell at Northampton Town as a non-contract player after impressing during his time with Matlock Town, is hoping to retain all of the squad who finished a creditable 11th last season.
He said: “We’ve said to all the players that we want them back. We’ll lose a few to scholarships in America or them moving away when their university courses finish.
“It’s not a case of everyone starting with a clean sheet of paper because I’ve seen a lot of them play. And I’ve been impressed.
“I also want to add in certain areas.
“We’re building for the future here so I’m prepared to give youth a chance. If a 17-year-old can do the same job as a 33-year-old then he’ll get the nod.”
Club will start pre-season training at the end of June with their first friendly matches taking place in early to mid-July.
Shaw said: “We’re lucky that we get some good games against Wednesday and United. I want us to play good opposition in pre-season. You learn more from being tested, so we’ll be looking to get some quality teams lined up.”