Daisy Hill have announced the appointment of Leighton Mills as their new first team manager.

He takes over from Brian Hart, who had previously informed the club’s committee that he intended to step down at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Mills was previously first team coach at the club, having joined the management team last summer.

He began his playing career in the professional ranks at Preston North End, and after his time there was cut short by a bad injury, he joined Morecambe on a two-year scholarship. He then spent a number of years at various clubs in the Evo-Stik and North West Counties Leagues.

Also joining the management team is Lee Hill, who will take up the role of assistant manager. Hill played for Daisy at various stages from 2008 to 2014, in between several tours of Afghanistan while in the Army.

Hill is a qualified personal trainer and performance coach with FA coaching and scouting badges, and he spent last season coaching at Step 5 club Newark Flowserve in the Midlands Premier Division.

Daisy Hill chairman Richard Williams, who joined the club last month, said: “When we spoke to Leighton about the vacant manager’s position, we were impressed by his enthusiasm and commitment to the club, and with his plans to make changes on the playing side at the club.

“We believe that the management duo of Leighton and Lee is a strong one and that they will

complement one another well. On behalf of everyone at the club I would also like to thank Brian Hart for his efforts over the past couple of years.

“Brian, along with his assistants Craig Thomas and Steve Iley, worked hard on improving the playing standards at the club, and they will always be welcome back here.

“We are now ready to move forward with Leighton and Lee in charge, and we believe they have the ideal skill set to succeed. Leighton has extensive experience in non-league football, and Lee has sports massage and physiotherapy qualifications and an eye for professionalism that we believe will support Leighton well.

“It’s an exciting time for the club, and with a number of other changes in the pipeline off the field, we feel that Leighton and Lee are fully capable of delivering success on the field.”

Mills said: “I am extremely

excited to be given this opportunity to be the new Daisy Hill first team manager.

“I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity to take the hot seat.

“I’m very ambitious about the future of Daisy Hill and where I can take this club. I have great plans for the upcoming season to be a very successful campaign.

“I believe with the right direction and drive from myself, my assistant manager Lee Hill and head coach Ashley Duckworth, we can take the club to where it belongs in the football pyramid.”