THE North West Counties Football League started last week and the swings and roundabouts were seen at the two Atherton clubs where LR’s Mick Clegg made the short trip to Alder Street to take over Collieries.
That change at the top saw Turton FC stalwart Ross McNair taking over at Crilly Park in his first managerial appointment and the ex-defender started his campaign with a 2-2 draw with AFC Darwen as well as a 5-3 win against Hanley Town.
Cols have also started the season well with a 100 per cent record with a 5-1 victory against Wigan Robin Park and also a 2-1 win over Cammell Laird.
Changes at the helm have also take place in the West Lancashire Football League with some new and familiar faces taking charge.
Ex-Coventry City and Welsh international Simon Haworth stood down at Eagley at the end of last season to take up an assistant manager’s role at League Two side Chesterfield.
In comes former Eagley player Alex Harvie who boasts coaching spells at Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and in my role working for The FA on an impressive CV.
He was part of the backroom team who won the Hospital Cup in 2010 under Paul Marriott.
Marriott, one of the club’s most successful managers will return to the Dunscar-based side as a consultant to Harvie.
Elsewhere Division One outfit Bolton County are hoping to build on last season’s performance when they were newboys in the league last season.
Henry Chapman left towards the end of campaign with Mark Ormrod taking temporary charge.
He was given the job full-time and the former player has already started his campaign by qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Kenyon Cup.
Another new face is at Division Three outfit Ladybridge FC. Their state-of-the-art 3G facility has been a major investment at Tempest Road and club officials will be hoping the introduction of ex-Horwich Victoria joint manager Dave Walker will have an impact on performances this season.
The club has a flourishing youth set-up but they will be looking to get up to the higher echelons of the West Lancashire League soon and Walker will hopefully have the ideas and players to do that.
Stoneclough have benefitted from Walker’s arrival as Paul Bretherton, Phil Breakell and Adam Howarth link up with Liam Ralph and will work with the reserve team. Even though, Ron Yates remains the main man at CMB, a recognisable face to local players and supporters alike will be ex-Eagley boss Phil Roberts who is now involved in the coaching set-up with the Chew Moor side.
Elsewhere, Manchester League side celebrated one of their most successful seasons on the pitch after a five trophy haul including: winning the Premier Division title, the Atherton Charity Cup, the Bolton Hospital Cup, Gilgryst Cup and the Norman Noden Trophy.
North West Counties Division One club Maine Road came knocking to acquire the services of manager Phil Bennett.
In his place sees the return of Barrie Massey and he will be looking to pick up where Bennett left off and win the league title for the sixth consecutive time.