Thomas Baillie and Scott Machin have been confirmed as joint-managers of Kettering Town on a permanent basis.
The duo, who were assistant-manager and head coach respectively under boss Dean Thomas last season, had been placed in interim charge following the surprise departure of Thomas due to work commitments last month.
Baillie had previously been the club’s manager at the height of the financial problems before Thomas took over last summer and led the Poppies on an incredible run of form, which ended when they were beaten 3-2 by Slough Town in the Calor League Division One Central play-off final.
Machin was brought in as a coach by former manager Thomas last year having previous worked with him at Hinckley United.
Baillie and Machin have been looking after the first-team affairs in the last few weeks as the Poppies retained the vast majority of last season’s squad while also bringing legendary midfielder Brett Solkhon back to the club.
Kettering chairman Ritchie Jeune, who has already admitted the club’s fans would be right to expect a title challenge next season, insists the club have not gone for “the easy option” and that the two managers “know what is expected”.
Jeune said: “I hope that the fans do not see this as the club going for the easy option because it most definitely is not.
“We never advertised the position as we were waiting until the board were able to meet to discuss the options.
“By the time I had returned from holiday we had a number of people come forward and express their interests in being the manager. This is certainly a different scenario to a little over 12 months ago when Dean was appointed.
“The club has moved forward and we again thank Dean for the foundation he has put in place. “However, we are still in the rebuilding phase and both Scott and Thomas have been a big part of that. “They both understand what we are trying to achieve, they know what is expected and I know that they have the ability to continue to move the club forward on the field.
“Last season has rightly built up an expectation for the coming season. Scott and Thomas are under no illusions that to deliver what is expected will be no walk in the park.”
In a joint statement, the new managers added: “We are pleased to accept the role as joint managers and our intention is to continue to build on the excellent progress which we all played a major part in last season.
“We have a fantastic group of players and backroom staff and we have every confidence that we can pick up where we left off last season.
“We have already made a strong addition to the squad in welcoming Brett Solkhon back to the club. “This is an indication of our desire to improve and compliment the current squad with players that will have a positive impact on the club as a whole and will help us all achieve out ultimate aim which has to be promotion at the end of the season.
“Our aim is to play attractive, attacking football and to build on our impressive late season form, especially at Latimer Park, where the fans have made a real difference for us
“ Latimer Park should be loud and proud and ensure it isn’t an easy place for visitors to come.”
Don’t miss more reaction on this website and in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph