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Wilkes: Padiham return is like coming home
STEVE Wilkes says his return to Padiham is “like coming home”.
The former Darwen manager has returned to take charge at the Arbories for a second time, more than four years after his first spell to an end.
Wilkes left to join Runcorn Linnets in 2008 But he admitted it was a move he came to regret after being sacked by the Vodkat North West Counties Premier Division outfit, despite an unbeaten start to the season in 2010.
In the meantime Padiham had been promoted to the same division themselves.
Wilkes, who quit his post at Ashton Athletic to return, is delighted to be back to lead the Storks’ charge, after admitting he should never have left.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing,” he said.
“It was a mistake to leave when I did and I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to go back and progress.
“What happened at Runcorn is water under the bridge - it has made me a better manager - and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Wilkes, who will bring former Colne player Steve Cunningham as his assistant, added: “I’ve spoken to the players who are there already who I want to keep and they’ve agreed to stay.
“There will be new faces coming in too.”
Wilkes also plans to bring in Colne’s youth development officer Danny Craig as first team coach.
Meanwhile, Padiham have confirmed pre-season friendlies with the development squads from both Burnley and Accrington Stanley.
The Storks will host a Stanley XI on July 27 (kick-off 3pm) and a young Clarets’ side on July 31 (kick-off 7pm), ahead of the season starting on August 4.
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