Wright keen to give Corby's current crop a chance to finish the job

Tommy Wright is keen to give the current Corby Town players a chance to “finish what they started”.
Corby Town were on course for, at the very least, a top-five finish before last season was ended earlyCorby Town were on course for, at the very least, a top-five finish before last season was ended early
Corby Town were on course for, at the very least, a top-five finish before last season was ended early

The Steelmen boss, who returned to the club last week, confirmed he held positive discussions with members of last season’s squad over the weekend as he begins preparations to launch a promotion challenge in the Southern League Division One Central whenever the new campaign gets under way.

The Steelmen missed out on promotion in the play-offs last year and were on course for at least a top-five finish last season before it was ended early and subsequently null and voided following the Covid-19 outbreak.

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And Wright believes he and the current crop are on the same page when it comes to the target for next season, although he insists there will be fresh faces added to the squad over the summer.

“Out of respect, I wanted to talk to all of the current players over the weekend and into Monday,” the Corby manager said.

“Those chats went well, they seem happy that I have been appointed which is promising and the feedback has been good.

“I have come back with a slogan of ‘unfinished business’ and the boys seem to have that same mindset. They are keen to finish what they started, which is good.

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“They are under no illusions and they know I will make two or three signings because I think it does need strengthening but every squad, every season always needs freshening up with a bit of fresh blood.

“It’s important people don’t get complacent and we just want to make sure that when we do come back, whenever that is, that we are all guns blazing and everyone is ready to stake their claims to be in the starting 11.”

Despite the current circumstances, Wright believes clubs will still be making quick moves for players during the closed season.

A number of clubs could be facing financial issues due to the premature finish to last season and the uncertainty of when the next campaign will begin.

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But Wright added: “Each individual will be different and I am sure everyone will have a bit of uncertainty in the current climate.

“But, at the same time, I don’t think players will wait any more than they do any other summer.

“Clubs will still make players offers, they won’t stand still and wait until this all blows over.

“Even our current players have had other clubs on the phone so my biggest message to them was that if they have been made an offer then I want that transparency and trust with them. I think it works both ways.”

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Ian Walker, meanwhile, has been appointed as Corby's new under-18s manager.

Walker is no stranger to the club as he captained the youth team before moving up to the first-team squad in the 1990s.

He went on to play for Rothwell Town before returning to the Steelmen under the management of Eddie McGoldrick.

Walker’s managerial career started with the reserve team at Stewarts & Lloyds before he went on to take charge at Thrapston Town and Desborough Town.

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His second stint at Thrapston came to an end last year but now he is looking forward to a “new challenge” at Steel Park.

“What appealed to me most was, having been lucky enough to have played for my home town club, that this is an opportunity for me to develop the young talent in Corby,” Walker said.

“Hopefully I will be able to play a big part in their football education and to help push them towards the first team and onwards.

“Having spent a decade in and around the United Counties League, now is the perfect time to take up a new challenge.”

Walker will be joined by his coaching staff from Thrapston Town in the form of Gavin Cullum and Dom Berardi.