Burton Albion legend Aaron Webster is delighted to finally get the chance to take a job he has his eye on for some time as the new Belper Town manager.
Webster was appointed this week with Lee Williamson as assistant player/manager.
Webster chalked up over 500 games for the Brewers before having spells at Ilkeston, Mickleover Sports and Basford United and his most recent role in football has been managing the Burton Albion community trust first team.
But the 36-year-old wanted to get into management – and Belper was his ideal job.
“Obviously I’ve had my playing career and gone into coaching afterwards and I have always had my eye on Belper Town from the local clubs,” he said.
“I can remember when Charlie Palmer got offered the job, I’d know him for years and thought I could help him there. But the phone call was a few days too late and he’d got Lee Barrow in.
“Since then I have always looked out for their results and hoped an opportunity may arise one day.
“I’ve know about Belper for many years. Playing at Burton we played them many times in pre-season.
“Then when I retired from the professional game and went into non-League we lost to them with Mickleover Sports in the play-off final, which wasn’t a nice day.
“Belper reminds me of Burton when I was a kid coming through the youth team – the stadium, the area.
“I’m not saying I’m going to do for Belper what Nigel Clough has done for Burton Albion, but I think I know what the club is all about. I have been there and done that and want to bring my experience and help the club push forwards on and off the pitch.
“I want to push myself as far as I can go in the future.”
Webster said there were several familiar faces in his new dressing room.
“I know a few of the players which is good,” he said. “I’m from Derby and some of the lads are from Derby who I’ve known since they were young boys.
“There are also a few ex-Burton Academy players in the team as well.
“So it’s a good start rather than it being a blank page with me not knowing anybody.”
He was delighted to get former Mansfield, Sheffield United, Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Williamson on board with him.
The former Jamaican international ended his career at Burton last season and Webster said: “Lee has had a bit of a sabbatical and not done anything football wise for the last few months.
“He’s had some time off weighing up options what to do. That crossroads comes along for every player when they are on their last contract in the League.
“I have had a few conversations with him and he’s very keen to do this with me. He will be assistant manager but says he will play as well which is a big bonus.
“I am looking forward to getting him on the pitch. It’s good for me as I can be the voice off the pitch and he can be the one on it. That will work well.”
Webster’s first EvoStik NPL South game will be at home to bottom club Romulus on Saturday and he has no qualms how hard it will be.
“They are going to be up for it. Being at the bottom they will be fighting for their lives,” he said.
“I know one of their lads, Chris Taylor, who has been tweeting that he’s not coming here to make any friends at the weekend.
“It will be like any other game – it probably gets tougher the lower the teams you’re playing as they probably have more fight in them.
“They won’t be coming here to make my day enjoyable will they?
“I expect a tough game from them.”
Webster added: “At the moment the only pressure on me and the club is from me. The pressure is from within to start with. The board of directors are very relaxed and I think they’re happy to get me on board.
“Andy Wynne has done a magnificent job as caretaker with three wins out of four. I know the lads are on a bit of high, though Saturday’s result hasn’t helped.
“But it’s not like I am taking over a team that’s lost six or seven in a row, which is normally the scenario when a managerial vacancy comes along.
“I am going to be as honest with the lads as possible. Everyone starts with a clean slate and they all have the chance to impress me.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to buy in my philosophy or the way I want to do things then changes will be made.”