‘I couldn’t have made a better appointment’, says Clitheroe FC chairman Lee Sharples
Clitheroe chairman Lee Sharples doesn’t believe that he could have made a better managerial appointment at Shawbridge.
Anne Barker’s successor confirmed that Blues boss Phil Brown has gone above and beyond the board’s expectations for the campaign, having signed off in sixth spot after 30 games.
The Football Association may have declared the season null and void, with all results expunged, in light of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the club’s achievements up to that point won’t be erased from memory.
The Blues won 12 games in total in the BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division, with 10 of those in succession, as they clocked up 44 points for the term.
“Phil [Brown] has done an excellent job this season.
“He’s gone above and beyond what we expected in terms of our league finish,” said Sharples.
“Some of the results have been great.
“We’ve beaten our local rivals, we’ve got one over on both Ramsbottom United and Colne, which is massive.
“Unfortunately we didn’t do too well in the cup competitions, but that’s something for us to work on.
“It’s been brilliant and I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“We’re all over the moon.
“When we set out there wasn’t really a target to hit, we just wanted to try and win more games than we lose and have fun doing it.
“Phil has hit everything that we wanted and more.
“If we take our league position as sixth, then that’s amazing; the progress that we’ve seen from pre-season is really exciting.”
Sharples can’t quite believe the progress that has been made on the pitch given the situation the former Lancaster City boss walked in to in the Ribble Valley.
The father-of-two, who joined the club as a volunteer last year, admitted to handing Brown a blank piece of paper when presenting him with a list of his squad on his arrival.
But Myerscough College’s head of football worked with the scraps left behind by Lee Ashforth, recruited well to add meat to the bones of the squad and remedied the mess.
“The work he has done is absolutely tremendous and the work he continues to do is great,” Sharples said.
“He’s very professional in what he does, he’s very passionate, he’s a great guy to work with and to learn from.
“For me I don’t think I could have made a better appointment.
“He was somebody that I’d put a lot of effort into looking at, his history and what he does work-wise, and he’s just been brilliant.
“We’ve got a nucleus of a team we can take forward now instead of me handing Phil a blank piece of paper and saying ‘go build a team’.
“We can sit down, look at what we’ve got and identify where we need to strengthen rather than going out and getting a whole new team.
“From the moment he came in he’s been an absolute pleasure to work with and I’m looking forward to it continuing.
“I can’t praise him highly enough.”