New Hebburn Town manager Kevin Bolam is relishing the challenge of delivering on the club’s ambitions of climbing the non-league pyramid.
Bolam was unveiled as Scott Oliver’s successor at the Energy Check Sports Ground after leading the club’s reserve side to the Wearside League title.
The role will be Bolam’s first in senior management and he takes over a Hornets side that will be seen as one of the favourites for the Northern League Division One title next season.
But the new man insisted that he doesn’t fear the expectations that he will face when the new campaign gets underway in August.
He told The Gazette “I know what the club want to achieve in the future and it’s great for everyone that they have stated their ambitions.
“I don’t fear them; I embrace the challenge of trying to meet their expectations and taking this club to the next level.
“I have spoken at length with the board and I know the task in hand.
“They have given me an opportunity and I want to repay their faith in me by delivering success on the pitch.
“I have had a chat with a few senior players, and I have a few more to talk to.
“We have a good squad and I am sure that we can go on and have a great season.
“I can’t wait to get started and if I am honest, planning is already underway for the new season.”
A number of experienced managers had expressed an interest in the vacancy left by the departure of former Hornets boss Scott Oliver two weeks ago.
Many of them had Northern League managerial experience – something that Bolam could not offer the club’s board.
But the 49-year-old doesn’t believe that being a novice at a new level will hold it back as he tries to take the club forwards.
He explained “Was I surprised to get the role? Yes, absolutely.
“But it’s a great for everyone at the club that they have shown a willingness to promote from within.
“I appreciate that I have no experience of the Northern League, and I know that will be said about me.
“That might be something I will look to add within my coaching staff over the coming weeks.
“But coaching and management doesn’t really change at each level.
“I will take my style in the first-team and I will get the players to express themselves.
“I want people to enjoy coming to watch us and I wouldn’t try and play any other way.”
Bolam moves up to take over the first-team managerial role after a remarkable season with the club’s second-string.
They were crowned as Wearside League champions two weeks ago after suffering just three defeats throughout the whole campaign.
A number of the club’s youngsters made first-team appearances during the season and Bolam admitted that he will not hesitate to give his former players a chance in the Northern League.
He said “We have had a great few years, they are a fantastic bunch and I know what they are capable of doing.
“I have left on a high without a shadow of a doubt.
“I thought back at the start of the season that they were capable of challenging for the Wearside League title.
“But to win it and win it well, losing only three games, conceding just 22 goals, scoring over 80, that was some achievement.
“But it was more important to do it with the right style, so that is why it is something I will always look back on with pride.
“One or two of the lads have moved up to the first-team on occasions and have done well, so it’s something we can use more going forwards.
“I certainly won’t hesitate to use them in first-team and that is a message that they will all be given.”