Poppies boss Thomas happy to have the pressure on him

Poppies boss Dean Thomas
Poppies boss Dean Thomas

Dean Thomas is ready to accept the pressure that is about to fall on him at Kettering Town.

It has been another tumultuous week for the Poppies after Ritchie Jeune was completed his takeover of the club during Tuesday’s fans’ forum.

And while there other issues that remain to be sorted out off the field, including the winding up order placed on the club by Rushden & Diamonds (2008) Ltd and trying to get their new home in Burton Latimer ready for the new season, the focus will soon be on the on-pitch matters.

Thomas has been a busy man since he was confirmed as the new Kettering manager as he puts together a new-look squad for the Southern League Division One Central campaign.

The Poppies report back for pre-season training on Tuesday night and there will be no rest for the wicked as they are set to play their first friendly at St Neots Town a week on Saturday.

And Thomas is unconcerned with the pressure that will be on him to deliver a winning side once the season proper starts on August 17.

“It has been a very positive week, it is the news everyone wanted to hear,” the Poppies boss said.

“And it shows the intentions of the board and the chairman of where they want to take the club. It is what the fans wanted and hopefully we can move forward.

“All I wanted to do was concentrate on football but I obviously knew right from the start that this was lurking in the background.

“Ritchie has always been fair and kept me up to date with everything that has been going on. Having been through the problems at Hinckley, the last thing I wanted was a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’.

“I had a taste of things last season and it was good to get to know the people I would hopefully be working for in the future.

“Everything has come to fruition. The fans wanted the club back in the borough and we are ready to do that.

“And now it is a case of ‘no pressure Dean, but you need to create a successful football team!’

“That is pressure I am happy to accept and I am looking forward to the new season.”

Thomas’ search for new players continues as he looks to rebuild the Poppies’ squad and he confirmed he has held talks with a midfielder who has “recent Conference experience”.

And he has also bolstered the numbers in his backroom team with Scott Machin joining as a coach, having most recently been the assistant-manager at Loughborough Dynamo.

“Scott knows this level of football inside out and his knowledge will be vital to us,” Thomas added.

“It is another piece of the jigsaw as far as I am concerned. Him being there will give me the chance to work with some of the lads on a one-to-one basis, which is important.

“With Thomas (Baillie) and the physio Craig Mander, who can also coach, already being in place, I think we have a very strong coaching team.”

Read all the reaction to Ritchie Jeune’s takeover of the Poppies in this week’s Northamptonshire Telegraph