Holding legendary status at one sporting establishment is testament enough to an individuals’ ability, to hold that status at several places certainly adds the gloss, and is something which the new Retford United manager, Ryan Hindley, knows all too well.
A playing career that had seen him don the jersey, on several occasions, at Nottinghamshire duo Worksop Town and Retford United, as well as enjoying a successful period under Chris Wilder at Alfreton Town, among others.
Hindley would then turn his hand to management, taking is enjoyable spells at Hallam, Worksop, and Rossington Main, before returning to Cannon Park with the aim of taking the Badgers onto much greater things.
“I played in what was, arguably, the best Badgers side they’ve had here,” began Ryan, looking back at a successful playing spell in Retford.
“We won the league title two seasons running (Northern Premier League Division One South winners in 2008 and 2009, NPL Chairman’s Cup winners 2008, and the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup in 2009).
“But, when we won the league, we did so without getting paid, and were denied promotion (in 2008, failed ground inspection); it was a travesty, being unable to progress, the same when at Worksop really.
“These two clubs, they deserve to be playing at a higher level.”
Now, and following a couple of years out of the game, Hindley was last season at Hallam, as joint-manager, in 2020, he returns both to the game, and to Cannon Park, replacing the recently departed Liam Kay, looking to build on the strong foundations his predecessor had laid before him.
Changes though, that is commonplace, something which always occurs during the changing of the guard, but Hindley, he’ll be looking, hoping even, to keep those already at the club, there, and build towards promotion asap.
This is also whilst the Badgers push forth with their five-year plan, which Hindley, and Chairman Nik Springthorpe, continue to promote, a return to the Northern Premier League, and beyond.
The Badgers Chairman said of Hindley’s appointment: “Ryan’s track record speaks for itself as a player and manager.
“I believe the supporters will get behind him and the players Ryan will retain and attract will achieve the promotion desires this fantastic football club deserves and needs.”
Meanwhile, Ryan continued of his return to the club, by saying: “There’s no real off-season, but it is nice to be able to come here, and have the backing that we have.
“Liam (Kay) didn’t fail at this club, far from it; he did a great job, so, it’s now just a case of my building on that.
“Yes, we’ll bring in some new players, and a new coaching team, but, having spoken to some of the players here, we’ve put last season behind us now.
“There’s probably one game which they look back at which proved to be costly, and they know that.
“That’s gone bow, we move on, and, although a few players have left the club, and we wish them well, we need to look to replace quality with quality.”
Of the newcomers at Cannon Park, the first pair to come through the door are that of Jed Phillips, a defender from Handsworth, and the entertaining wingers, Niall Smith, who arrives from Hallam, a player the new boss believes “will become a fan favourite here.”
Upon his announcement as Liam Kay’s replacement, the outpouring of love for the new Badgers boss was visible for all, well-wishes appearing in their droves; Hindley though, he knows what he has to do.
“I do look back, fondly, on past times here,” added Ryan.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to do something similar again, but we do need to build on last season, and in doing so, we need to get off to a flyer when the season starts again.
“The fixtures, they do need to be kind to us, but there’s no pressure on me (from the board), I’ll put it on myself though.
“But I’ll be happy if say, we go out of the cups in the opening rounds, if that means we win the league, and gain promotion.
“I’ll be looking for us to be ready for the opening game of the season, and to go out there, and win every game.
“I believe in what we have here, and these players, this club, shouldn’t fear anybody.
“Personally though, I’m looking forward to a long, successful tenure here, and I’m ultra-confident we can achieve the objectives in which we’ve set out.”
Before all of that though, Ryan Hindley, his coaching team, and playing staff, have a handful of pre-season friendlies in which to traverse.
The Badgers are set to play the following games prior to the commencement of the new season – Ollerton Town (a, 5 July), Mansfield Town (h, 9 July), Jubilee FC (a, 16 July), AFC Mansfield (a, 20 July), Louth Town (h, 23 July).
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @RetfordUnited Ryan Hindley takes over in charge at Cannon Park.