Kinniburgh ready to help steady the Kettering ship

Having previously played for and captained the club, Steve Kinniburgh is now back with Kettering Town in a joint caretaker manager role alongside Luke Graham
Having previously played for and captained the club, Steve Kinniburgh is now back with Kettering Town in a joint caretaker manager role alongside Luke Graham

Steve Kinniburgh insists he and Luke Graham have taken on the roles of caretaker joint-managers at Kettering Town for “the right reasons” as they prepare to take charge of the team for the first time tomorrow (Saturday).

It’s been a tumultuous week for the Poppies as their humiliating Emirates FA Cup exit at the hands of Sutton Coldfield Town resulted in the club sacking manager Nicky Eaden just over three months after he was appointed.

Player-coach Graham and former Kettering captain and ex-Corby Town manager Kinniburgh were immediately installed as temporary joint bosses ahead of a return to Vanarama National League North action at Hereford this weekend.

The Poppies sit immediately above the two-team relegation zone in the table, having won just twice in 11 league matches since coming up as Southern League Premier Central champions.

Kinniburgh resigned as Corby manager in the summer having led them to the Southern League Division One Central play-off final last season and has been working alongside Graham in the Future Lions organisation, which is linked to the Poppies.

He said: “I obviously came out of management in the summer through my own choice.

“But this opportunity has presented itself to me and it’s an opportunity at a club where I played over 100 games and captained it to promotion.

“I have been working in the international programme which is connected to the club but to be back in the management game is good.

“It’s something that I have enjoyed and, to be honest, to have been asked to come in and help out is a big thing for me.

“Luke and I have spoken about things and we will just be going into this weekend’s game with what we feel is the strongest team that we can put out.

“It’s going to be a tough game and the circumstances are obviously a bit tricky but we will do our best to get a result and then there is a two-week break (until the Poppies’ next game against Spennymoor on October 12) in which some work can be done.

“I think the key with Luke and I is that we are doing this for the right reasons.

“We are involved at the club on a daily basis and we are doing our bit to help build it for the future.

“Neither of us are thinking about ourselves, it’s a case of steadying things for the club and that’s how it should be.”

Kinniburgh will, no doubt, have his name linked to the permanent role as the club carry out their search for their new boss.

Graham has already ruled himself out of the running for the permanent position.

But, when asked about his thoughts on the role, Kinniburgh neither ruled himself in or out.

“I have got to a bit of a crossroads in my career,” he added.

“I have been working in academy football for a while, I did my UEFA A Licence over the summer and I have had a taste of first-team management.

“I am still young and I am able to be in a situation where I can have the best of both worlds.

“But I don’t know where my future is going to lie.

“At the moment, I am just looking to make sure we get things back on track and look at what we need to do to go forward in the short-term.

“I haven’t been looking to step into the managerial role here. It’s something that came looking for me, not the other way round.”