New boss Rigby relishing challenge of stepping up at Slyne

Paul Rigby, left, in action during his Lancaster City days.
Paul Rigby, left, in action during his Lancaster City days.
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Paul Rigby is relishing the challenge of stepping up to be Slyne-with-Hest’s new manager.

The Bottomdale Road number two has been handed the top job after Ian Roe resigned after nine years at the helm of the West Lancashire Premier Division club.

Rigby, previously a right back for Lancaster City, Kendal Town and Fleetwood, knows that he has a tough task matching the league’s big boys but is looking forward to getting stuck in.

Slyne battled hard to finish 11th last term with the new manager eyeing an improvement this time around.

“It was about what was best for the club,” said Rigby, who has also looked after the Dolly Blues’ reserves in the past.

“I was happy to carry on as I was or step up to be the manager.

“We had a look at the options and spoke to a couple of people but things didn’t materialise.

“After a few discussions I thought ‘why not give it a go?’

“Now I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a challenge at the end of the day. But we’ve got to try and finish as high as we can and making the top five or six would be great.

“There are teams looking at our players but if we can keep hold of them and add two or three then we’ll be fine.”

Rigby is under no illusions about what lies ahead, Roe leaving after establishing Slyne in the top tier after his move from Trimpell nearly a decade ago.

“He’s been doing it nine years and the last year has been quite tricky for us,” he said.

“It’s tough getting players in and he’d been thinking about things and decided it was time for a change.

“It’s a difficult job. We lost our reserves a couple years ago and it’s been hard.

“When you have quite a few players missing for one reason or another where are they going to come from?

“The Friday before a game you’re ringing around and it’s not one or two players you need it’s five or six.

“Trying to compete with Garstang, Milnthorpe, Kendal and others is tough for us.

“It’s difficult attracting players.”

While trying to keep hold of star men such as Tom Entwisle and Matty Bell, Rigby will be looking to recruit players from traditional avenues.

He will turn his attention to the best the North Lancashire league has to offer while also waiting on any that might become surplus to requirements at other clubs.

“It’s about trying to get some of the best North Lancs players and persuade them to give it a go in the West Lancs,” said Rigby.

“Sometimes they don’t want to step up and there is more commitment involved but plenty are good enough.

“We can also wait and see what happens at Lancaster and Kendal too because there might be some players there, that’s traditionally what’s happened.”

Getting more depth within the club is also key, most clubs in the West Lancashire League able to call on an established second string.

“We’re trying to get the reserves back up and running and it’s important,” said Rigby.

“We’ve got three youth teams as well but need that structure properly in place.

“The club needs building up.

“Rather than having to go out and find players it would great to promote them from within.”