Former Huntingdon manager takes over the reins at Oakham United
New Oakham United boss Jimmy Brattan believes both he and the Rutland club are taking a step back in order to move forward.
Brattan was appointed this week as the new manager of the Lonsdale Meadow outfit who were relegated from the United Counties League Division One last season.
The Peterborough-based boss was manager of Oakham’s Division One rivals Huntingdon Town last season before stepping down after leading his charges to a 12th place finish and an appearance in the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
Oakham’s relegation to the Peterborough League was also confirmed this week and Brattan – who will be assisted by AJ Carr - is raring to lead a promotion push as the Rutlanders look to bounce back at the first attempt.
He said: “I'm really looking forward to it. I had a fantastic set of lads last season at Huntingdon and we had a fantastic season on the pitch, but it was turbulent off it.
"We finished 12th in the league and reached the final of the Hinchingbrooke Cup which is not a bad season.
"I wanted another season at that level and I had other offers on the table. A couple of UCL reserve sides also came in, but that didn't interest me.
“I've spent the majority of my management career in the Peterborough League, but I do believe at the right club I am more than capable of sustaining a good and competitive UCL side and hopefully Oakham can be that club.
"It's probably surprised a few people that I have gone there, but it's a step back to move forward for both myself and the club because Oakham has a fantastic set up which deserves to be in the UCL.
"We've now got to back that up by playing the football and getting the players in that will get us back to that level.”
Brattan will also be joining forces again with former Oakham boss Ryan Hunnings who has taken on a behind-the-scenes role at the club after stepping down from management a couple of weeks ago.
The duo formed a management team in the Peterborough League with Langtoft before moving on together to Huntingdon.
However, Huntingdon dispensed with Hunnings’ services in October, leaving him to join Oakham whose fortunes he revived despite relegation following a disastrous start to the season.
Brattan commented: “It wasn't my decision for Ryan to leave Huntingdon. Some people said at the time that I'd stabbed him in the back, but that definitely wasn't the case.
"The decision was made and there was nothing I could do about it. It did have a slight affect on us, but we will always have that friendship and, when I became available, we had discussions about me coming to Oakham.
"The club had a tough time last season, but Ryan did a brilliant job when he came in and took over a broken side.
"He really turned it around and, although he has made a decision to step away from management, he is ambitious, enthusiastic and wants to play a key role in moving the club forward.
“We know it will be a strong league next season as there are some good teams in there. It's going to be a difficult division, like it always has been.
"But we have made contact with several players who have said that they will come down to pre-season training because we need to add to the squad that finished last season and then we will be very competitive.”
Oakham start pre-season training on Wednesday night at Lonsdale Meadow at 7.30pm and new players are welcome to attend.
The club is also offering sponsorship packages for local companies who should contact club officials if interested.