Graham set for a dual role with Poppies

Luke Graham looks set to have a role to play both on the pitch and in the dugout for Kettering Town next season. Picture by Peter Short
Luke Graham looks set to have a role to play both on the pitch and in the dugout for Kettering Town next season. Picture by Peter Short

Luke Graham is set to have a role to play both on and off the pitch at Kettering Town next season.

Poppies boss Marcus Law has confirmed the central defender, who is also the club’s academy director, will be a permanent part of his backroom staff as the Poppies get ready for the step up to the Vanarama National League North.

What is set to be a busy summer at Latimer Park is already under way with the club confirming the departures of assistant-manager Richard Lavery and defender Craig Stanley.

Graham, who played in the National League North for Brackley Town, has been rumoured to be in contention to take up the role vacated by Lavery and while the replacement hasn’t been confirmed, Law revealed Graham will now have a dual role within the first-team.

“I have had discussions but I will be talking to a few people before any firm decisions are made,” the Poppies boss said.

“Luke’s introduction into the coaching set-up at a senior level became more obvious towards the end of last season so there will be an opportunity for him.

“He is full-time with the club in role with the academy and he will certainly be involved in the first-team in a playing and coaching position.

“Richard made it known to me before the end of the season that he would be leaving. He made a massive contribution. I will forever be in his debt for the job he did for me and the players.”

Law also paid tribute to defender Stanley, who played a pivotal role at the heart of the defence after joining from Lancaster City at the end of last year as the Poppies went on to lift the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title.

“We signed Craig to come in and fulfil a position and he did it brilliantly,” Law added.

“He did everything that was required of him and his performances were of a very high standard.

“He played a huge role in everything we did in the second half of the season.

“But he was still living up north and was coming in for matchdays and staying with his parents who live a bit closer to here on Friday evenings so he had the best preparation.

“He was great for us, we wish him all the best."