Roberts' Eagley move pays off with back-to-back titles
PHIL Roberts made it back-to-back titles with a difference when Eagley sealed the West Lancashire League Division One Reserves top spot on Monday night.
He led Castle Hill to the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division crown last season before moving to Eagley to take charge of their side in the top division of the reserve league.
“My job was the strengthen the club when I came,” he said. “I had a good set of players to take with me to Eagley when I came, and a few lads were already here who stayed and have done well.
“One thing I’ve learned this season is that it’s totally different being manager of a first team and a reserve team.
“It is harder to win the LAL because the standard is higher than our reserve league, but it is more difficult managing a reserve team.
“Until you do it you don’t know. But if I’m ever a first-team manager again I’ll understand the difficulties my reserve manager has.
“At Castle Hill I was in charge of everything. Here, the first-team manager gets first pick of everybody and you get the rest.”
The reserve league win was Eagley’s second piece of silverware of the season after the first team won the Lancashire FA Shield.
Robert, who has been assisted by assistant manager Lee Yates and coach Danny Swailes - who played almost 400 games for Bury, Macclesfield, Stockport and MK Dons - has guided his side to 24 wins and just defeats in 28 league games this season, and sealed the title by going 10 points clear with a stunning volley from left wing back Andy Eidukas in a 1-0 victory over Garstang Reserves.
“He chested a deep cross and volleyed it into the top corner from way out,” said Roberts.
“If he tried it a hundred times, he’s do it once.
“He’s been superb, as has my goalkeeper and captain James Raynor, centre half Nick Haynes, centre midfielder Ian Oldfield who has not had one booking all season either, Ash Morris who’s scored 20-25 goals and Gary Whiteside up front and Scott McNair in centre midfield. But I don’t like picking anyone out because they’ve all been fantastic.”