After two under-whelming seasons which ultimately resulted in relegation to the North West Counties League, thus ending an eleven-year stint in the Northern Premier League, Ramsbottom United have implemented changes ahead of the new campaign.
Although performances improved once incoming manager David Chadwick arrived in February to replace Lee Donafee, results did not, and just seven points from a possible thirty-six condemned the Rams to their fate.
Despite the hard work put in by Chadwick and his assistant Jimmy Whiteman, which was greatly appreciated by the club, it was felt that the best possible route to attempt an immediate return to the NPL would be to appoint a manager with experience who had already been there.
As such, STEVE WILKES has been offered the role after impressing in an interview and has been delighted to accept the challenge.
Joining him at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium is coach SCOTT CAMPBELL who is no stranger to the club as he held a similar position during Mark Fell’s management tenure.
55 year old Wilkes was a midfield player and part of the Wigan Athletic youth club before playing for Preston North End, Southport and Morecambe ahead of his lengthy spell in football management now covering over 1,000 games, which began at Darwen back in 1998. After six years at the Anchor Ground, he moved on to Padiham for three years, and a couple of seasons at Runcorn Linnets, followed by a brief spell at Ashton Athletic.
He recently resigned from Northwich Victoria, having overseen six years at the nomadic club, where he took the Vics to within a whisker of a Wembley appearance in 2019 when the club lost out in the semi-final on penalties to eventual winners Chertsey Town.
The season just ended saw the Northwich club fight well above their weight to finish fifth in the NWCFL just six points behind play-off winners Avro. A similar position next season would see the Rams in the end of season play-off lottery, although Wilkes is hoping to go one better.
On accepting the offer, Wilkes said “I’m thrilled and delighted to be given the opportunity to manage this great football club.
“I’m excited to get started and work with the team here. I’ll certainly be working as hard as I can to get this football club back to where it belongs”.
With all eyes now fixed on the coming season, hopes are high at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium that a strong challenge can be put in to regain their NPL status, and everyone wishes Steve and Scott the very best.