Brian Doogan meets Colne's new manager

DENZIL Hart's priority at Colne is to introduce ideas and quality.

That combination and an unrelenting desire for hard work, he is convinced, are the keys to establishing Colne as a force in North West Counties' League football.

The articulate 39-year-old, who is a resident caretaker at a scheme for the elderly in Radcliffe, near Manchester, and works part-time as a youth community officer, took over the manager's position at Holt House this week.

Ken Bracewell had been in temporary charge following Keith Mason's decision to quit due to work commitments.

The post attracted considerable response. A shortlist of eight was compiled from which four were chosen for interview.

Hart was seen as the logical choice - his non-league experience included a playing career in the North West Counties' League and the reserve team manager's spot at UniBond side Leigh RMI.

His own commitment was total - he wanted the job and he convinced the Colne board that he wanted it bad enough.

"My ambition was to work back at that level," said Hart.

"This was an opportunity to help develop a football club and build a football team almost from scratch - it was a chance I just couldn't let slip away.

"Colne have a rich history in non-league football. "I played against Colne Dynamoes and they showed what can be achieved by a non-league team - everybody knew about them.

"The people are passionate about football in this area.

"The club has potential in terms of facilities and the drive shown by its committee members - they are a dedicated bunch of people.

"This is a club with ambitions and I didn't want to miss the ride."

Despite the upbeat optimism which is a characteristic of Hart, he is under no illusions about the enormity of his task.

Colne, though they have produced some fine performances and have frequently shown signs that, on their day, they are capable of recording an upset, have yet to win a game in the North West Counties' League.

Fortunes won't be transformed overnight.

But after watching Colne last Saturday against Blackpool Mechanics and taking charge of his first couple of training sessions, Hart has identified a number of areas which he can improve on.

"Progress can be made with the general organisation of the team - they need knitting together," said Hart. "They need a focus, better balance all round and more ideas, especially going forward.

"There is a need for greater pace, particularly up front. Pace is always an asset for any team.

"In defence, midfield and up front, the battling qualities do seem to be there.

"From what I can see, the tendency is for this team to throw away games rather than get beaten - so that needs rectifying.

"Although the situation would be a lot worse if they just weren't capable of winning.

"And communication could be better.

"Plus there is great need for a lot of hard work. That is something I never have shied away from.

"These are some of the aspects I'll be working on with the lads over the coming weeks.

"My personal goals are to get the team playing the way they should, to get them off the bottom and move as far away as possible."

Challenge may be a motivator but that doesn't make it any less formidable.

Hart, though, is made of the right stuff to face it.

Colne travel to Ashton United tomorrow and Hart faces a crisis straight away with news that Geoff Payton has sustained a knee injury that will render him a long-term casualty. Hart has signed four players from old club Leigh: Martin Tector, Chris Nuttall, Lee Bowles and Mo Mendez.

Colne are looking for a commercial manager to handle business affairs at the club. Applications should be forwarded to Jean Moore, 5 Haverholt Close, Colne, BB8 9SN (tel: 01282 868857). Pay will be on a commission basis only.

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