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Glossop aim for play-offs – but next four games are crucial
Wednesday 20th December 2017 @ 08:45 by Adam Higgins
Reviews Sports

By Jack Lynch

Glossop North End have had an exciting 2017, with a takeover in management and big plans to recruit new players, but the Derbyshire outfit seem to be falling just below their targets for the third year in succession.

North End have recruited their new double team to lead the pack, with Paul Phillips and Steve Halford taking over as joint managers at the start of this season. The duo arrived at Surrey Street with a glittering reputation and big ambitions. Put simply, they wanted promotion.

After a disappointing campaign last term, Glossop failed to get into the play-offs under previous manager Chris Willcock, who ended his four-and-a- half year term at the helm at the end of last season.

Following a rigorous interview process that lasted several months, the Glossop hierarchy decided to fill the void with Phillips and Halford. The pair had enjoyed playing careers with Droylsden amongst others, before moving into management with Ashton United. During their time at Hurst Cross, Phillips and Halford delivered three consecutive play-off appearances in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, before opting to move to Stalybridge Celtic. They were tasked with saving the club from a looming relegation, and despite an upturn in fortunes, they were sacked before the season ended.

After a brief period away from management, Phillips spent time playing for Colne and Marine before the pair reunited at Surrey Street. Upon joining the club, Phillips said: “The club sold itself to us and it’s a great club – the Board and the people that we met there on the first day was bang on and obviously we had to turn a couple of others down, but it’s a great football club to be in charge of.”

The new double team have showed a lot of ambition and confidence when walking into this job, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing. The potential of a lucrative FA Cup run came to a disappointing end during the first stage against local rivals Mossley in August. The Hillmen have also been knocked out of the Manchester Premier Cup, The FA Trophy, The Integro League Cup, and the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

Cup disappointment aside, the Hillmen are still well positioned to make a charge on the play-offs this season. However, if they are to be successful in doing so, they’ll need a good points return over the festive period. The next four games are crucial for the Hillmen – against Clitheroe on Saturday, Mossley at home on Boxing Day, Skelmersdale at Surrey Street on December 30 and Hyde United away on New Year’s Day.

Throw in pitch problems, the club secretary stepping down after several decades at the club and a squad overhaul and it’s been quite an eventful calendar year for the Hillmen.

 

Main picture:

Challenge: Paul Phillips (right) and Steve Halford have a big task on their hands in the second half of the season if Glossop are to be promoted to the Evo-Stik Premier Division (Picture by Steve Dyson)