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Former Uppingham, Oakham, Langtoft United and co-Huntingdon Town manager Ryan Hunnings is the new assistant boss at Peterborough League Premier Division side Ketton

An exciting opportunity to return to a Peterborough League Premier Division management team has seen Ryan Hunnings named as the new assistant manager of Ketton.

The former Uppingham, Oakham, Langtoft United and co-Huntingdon Town manager will be number two to Ketton boss Darren Moody.

And Hunnings is hoping that his arrival at Pit Lane can create a strong managerial partnership which will help Ketton climb the Premier Division standings.

Ryan Hunnings. (43158536)
Ryan Hunnings. (43158536)

Hunnings said: “I did have a few other offers after I left Uppingham, but I spoke to Darren and this was the most exciting one.

"Ketton is a club that I think is a sleeping giant locally. The set-up is amazing and any Peterborough League club would be lucky to have such facilities.

"The project which Darren is creating involves a lot of young players and I will be aiming to bring some experience in because we have some big targets.

"We are going to work as closely as possible, put both our stamps on it and go from there.

"We have a similar philosophy on how we want the game to be played so it's exciting."

Hunnings stepped down at the end of September from his first team role at Uppingham having led them to the final of the Peterborough Senior Cup last season but continued to work with the club’s reserve side.

He is now relishing the challenge of concentrating on a more coaching-led role after making the short switch to the Rutland neighbours.

Hunnings added: "It didn't really click this year at Uppingham for some reason. It wasn't anyone's fault, but it just wasn't the same.

"We'd had such a good season last year which we didn't get to finish so it felt incomplete because we hadn't finished the mission which we had set out to do.

"It seemed like a harder slog to get us going again and get the energy back to enjoy it like we did last season.

"It was all forced because it was so natural last year. Paul Sheehan is now the best man for the job because he has been at the club for such a long time and will always have the respect of the lads.

“The opportunity at Ketton means that I get to put an imprint onto the team and work with them but not have the stress of having to be the main man which will be quite nice for a change.

Darren Moody. Photo: Alan Walters (43158548)
Darren Moody. Photo: Alan Walters (43158548)

"I was really enjoying the coaching side more than the managing towards the end of last season at Uppingham.

"I had Mert Owers working alongside me for half of last season and I did struggle when he dropped down to run the reserves. It was too much and I shouldn't have done it on my own.

"It was all on me to manage as well as coach and it will be quite nice to get into a team and coach them the way you want them to play.

"I learned a lot from the United Counties League when I was at Huntingdon and Oakham and it will be nice to use that at Ketton.

"Darren is a very up-and-coming manager and knows a lot of players which I would never be able to contact and vice-versa because I have been around the Peterborough League for a long time and can bring players in.

"We want to try and imprint a structure onto the team and it's now about trying to pick up some wins and hit the ground running.

"Darren feels that the team is almost there, but needs that little bit of Peterborough League Premier Division experience.

"They need to learn a few more of the dark arts and we will start putting that on them.

"We feel the squad will be good enough to start moving up the league because we want to be looking up and not down.

"They are a really talented bunch and it will be exciting to work with them.”

Hunnings’ arrival at Ketton has seen experienced defender Steven Slack link up with his former manager after making the switch from Peterborough City.

Slack has played for Hunnings at four different clubs and the newly-appointed assistant manager feels his acquisition is just what Ketton need.

Hunnings continued: “We needed a leader to come in at the back because the club lost Cal Parker and Seb Hood in the summer.

"Slacky is the guy because he helped me out at Langtoft and ran the back-line with Matt Holland. I trusted him when we went to the United Counties League together as well because he's got so much experience.

"He was still performing at a top level with Peterborough North End Sports last season. We know exactly what we are going to get from him and the young lads will learn a lot.”

With the football season currently suspended due to the national lockdown, Ketton are hoping to return to action on Saturday, December 5.

The players have been using running apps to maintain their fitness while the club has already arranged a friendly for as soon as lockdown is lifted.

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