Belper newcomers to share managerial hot seat

Paul Donnelley and Anthony Danylyk
Paul Donnelley and Anthony Danylyk

Newcomers Anthony Danylyk and Paul Donnelley have decided to share the responsibilities of being in the hot seat at Belper Town.

The pair were appointed as successors to Charlie Palmer last week and, although Donnelley served as assistant to Danylyk at Leek Town last year, the pair elected to make this a joint job this time around.

“I think both of us now have the experience from last year and we want to share the workload as it’s a busy job being a non-League manager,” said Danylyk.

“We both trust each other and respect each other and we will work well as a partnership.

“Both myself and Paul are really keen to get going now.

“We took the job last Tuesday and it’s been non-stop ever since really, which is a good kind of busy.

“We are now just looking to tie up the lads that are already there and bring in a couple of additions to strengthen the squad.

“The squad that is already there is a strong squad, depending on who decides to stay.

“There have been a couple that have left, but it looks like the majority of the lads are staying which is good.”

The Belper appointment is a bit of a homecoming for Danylyk after playing for the Nailers back in 2004/05.

But he is better known as a real stalwart at Leek, where under his leadership they finished ninth in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South, just seven points below the play-off places, only for him and Donnelly to be shown the door.

“It was a surprise,” admitted Danylyk. “We said before it was never the intention to be a short term thing.

“It was always going to be a long term project for us and I thought we did relatively well last year. So to get the news so late after the season had ended was a bit of a shock and left us a bit in limbo.

“But then the Belper job came up. I have played there before and it’s a big club which is going in the right direction on and off the field. It was a no-brainer.

“A lot of the people from when I played here are still here so there are a lot of familiar faces.

“It is a close knit club and well run with a community feel about it and a good, loyal following. We’re looking to maintain that and possibly add to it if we can with the way we go about playing football.

“Hopefully we can get some success and get a few more through the door.”

With no immediate pressure to win promotion, Danylyk now plans to commit to Belper long term as he did at Leek and improve on last year’s 10th place finish.

“I played over 450 games for Leek,” he said. “It’s been a big part of my life really.

“I have only played for a handful of clubs throughout my career so I like to think I am a loyal lad.

“I’d like to think that will now be the case at Belper and we can put some foundations down for the future to build on.”

He admitted he was already looking forward to crossing swords with Leek when the fixtures are released.

He said: “It is just a game at the end of the day. But whether you’re a player or a manager, when you go back to your old club there’s always a bit of added spice there.

“I don’t think it will be any different for me, but we’ll just treat it as a normal game, though it’s one you’d like to win.”