MICK Bradshaw’s first challenge as new Rayners Lane boss begins this week as he sets about building a squad capable of matching the club’s title-winning exploits last season.
Bradshaw was appointed manager of the Hellenic League Division One East last week following Dene Gardner’s decision to leave the club after leading the team to the league crown.
The UEFA B licence holder, who worked as a coach at Southern League side Chalfont St Peter last season, is returning to Tithe Farm having previously worked with the club’s reserves in the 2008-9 campaign.
He has kept a keen eye on things at Rayners Lane since then, while his own career took him to North Greenford reserves and then on to the Saints, and insists he is ready to lead the club to further glory.
“I’ve watched how the club has progressed over the past few years and I knew the previous manager,” Bradshaw said. “I think we will be competitive this year. Martin [Noblett, chairman] has said that he is expecting a bedding down period due to the changes. It may well be that the squad will be a total rebuild but I won’t know until I have spoken to everyone.”
Those talks will take place this evening (Thursday) as Bradshaw starts to assemble a new-look Lane squad for the forthcoming season.
“I’ve spoken to quite a lot of the players from last year. We are looking to register players on Thursday.
“There will be players that have been at level four clubs with some first-team players, but mostly with reserve team experience.
“I prefer working with younger players, but of course I’m aware you need some older ones to help them make the transition as well. The players that we will be bringing in are young but experienced and there’s a couple of older ones too.”