NEW joint-boss Gary Drake left Rogues Park impressed after leading Cottesmore Amateurs’ first pre-season training session on Sunday.
Drake, who ran fitness and technical sessions, said: “I was impressed by the players who we had last season and have brought a few with me.
“We are also looking at a few players who have played at higher levels.”
Drake, 26, who joins Steve Duffy at Cottesmore, spent most of his playing days at Holwell Sports but two broken legs limited his opportunities on the pitch. He began taking coaching badges at just 18 and his other football roles have included spells working at development centres for Leicester City and the New York Red Bulls.
Cottesmore endured a torrid 2011-12 with an off-field fire wrecking their season before it had even started and Drake and Duffy both see this summer as a fresh start.
“It’s like starting a new club,” said Drake. “These are exciting times.
“We want to make it more professional and will have a qualified physio for example, and training will be set up with a clear strategy.
“There will be a lot of technical sessions with the aim of building a side that can keep the ball.”
Neil Miller, formerly manager at Melton Town, has also joined the coaching staff at Rogues Park as an assistant and the new Cottesmore boss said: “He has taken a step back to become assistant because he likes the plans here.
“The club needs to have a bit of stability. I would love us to get promoted but the main thing this season is to attract players so the first team is stable and we can rebuild the reserve team.”
Duffy said: “Gary had a very good first session. We had a good turnout with a good mix of players including a couple from Holwell and a former England schoolboy.
“There is a good feeling at the club and I cannot wait for the season to start.”
Chairman Allan Westray said: “The fire last year did not help at all. It was a big struggle but Steve did a fantastic job.
“We did not want to lose him but wanted some new blood as well. Gary is full of good ideas but he is a young guy and Steve will lend valuable experience.”
Cottesmore will play in the Leicestershire Senior League’s premier division again next season and begin their league matches on August 18. They are looking for sponsors to back them for the 2012-13 campaign and potential sponsors should call Steve Duffy on 07947 867623 or Gary Drake on 07857 072745.
n TRAINING at Rogues Park continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, and on Saturdays at 11am with new players welcome.