DEREK Egan is hopeful of returning as manager of Rossendale United after the running of the club was handed over to a supporters group steered by ex-player Steve Hobson.

Hobson and his determined band of fans have taken control, debt free and leased at a nominal rent, from former owner Andrew Connolly.

Rossendale businessman Connolly said he had done as much as he could for the Dark Lane side in the last five years, and Egan, who parted company with the Stags at the end of last season after growing frustrated with the direction he felt the club was heading in off the field, admitted a comeback was on the cards.

"I've met with the individuals who will be involved, and the proposed new chairman, and if it all goes through, which we expect it to, then I will still be the manager, with Bret Harris as my assistant," he said.

Former player and director Hobson, who will be chairman of the supporters group added: "I am excited by the challenges that lie ahead.

"I want to see us develop a club that belongs to the people of Rossendale - a club that they are proud to be associated with.

"Mr Connolly has left our group in sole control and by agreeing to settle with all of the club's creditors, in keeping with FA rules, he has given us a huge chance to make a success of the job."

Egan admitted he was impressed with the proposals to boost the club's profile in the area in an effort to increase attendances.

"There will be more people to attract sponsors and get more people through the gates. When we were fifth in the league we were only getting about 100 on, and that's not right.

"I have spoken to people in the Valley who didn't even know there was a football club there.

"You go to places like Chorley and there's a real willingness to survive and progress.

"I grew frustrated last season because things had grown stagnant off the field. Having said that, that doesn't take into account the hours and hours of work that people were putting in. There just weren't enough of us.

"I resigned partly through frustation at the situation and also hoping something would be sparked off because of it, which it's seemed to do."