Harrop: Goater appointment a positive move for Ilkeston

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Ilkeston FC chairman Nigel Harrop says the appointment of Shaun Goater as first team manager is a positive step for the club as it fights against relegation.

Goater oversaw a 1-0 win in his first game against Sutton Coldfield on Saturday having replaced Paul Holland on Friday.

And with the Bermudian being the next, but most high profile, in a line of imports from the island, Harrop hopes his impact will help turn the club’s fortunes around.

He said: “Of course it is a tough job given our league position but I felt a change was necessary to try and freshen things up on a coaching and playing level.

“Paul Holland did a very good job in circumstances that were often beyond his control, particularly losing the experienced players earlier in the season.

“That happened because they were not proving to be good enough value for money. Anton Brown was too often unavailable due to work commitments, once or twice pulling out of games very late on, whilst Luke Foster and Liam Hearn came having earned big money elsewhere so we gave them coaching roles to help justify the higher wages we were paying. Ultimately those roles didn’t work out as we’d have liked so we felt the money would be better deployed in other areas.

“The rethink was necessary. The situation with the Che Adams transfer money actually ended up costing us a lot in legal fees and other factors and what we ended up getting was far, far less than many people think once various obligations we had to meet had been taken care of.

“So we had to become more stable on a financial level as moving on and surviving as a club is paramount.

“That clearly had an effect on the squad Paul was left with.”

Whilst admitting that Goater may have similar frustrations to Holland when it comes to trying to recruit players given the club’s financial position, Harrop hopes his profile in the game will help things.

He said: “Sponsorship has dried up a lot since the Che Adams situation given the mess it left behind and the uncertainty some potential sponsors have over our future, which need not be the case, but I think someone like Shaun being here will help revive the interest.

“The model will work if crowds get behind us and we can get more sponsorship in.

“Shaun has great contacts in the game which could also help us when it comes to recruiting some players too.

“He had wanted this job for a while and although I didn’t know him personally, we have mutual friends and I knew how keen he was to become a coach in this country.

“He’s watched a lot of football at this level to be prepared for any job that came his way and I feel it’s a good time to give him a chance.”

Harrop also emphasised that the club’s future is in no danger, even if the Robins were to be relegated.

He said: “We wouldn’t be in danger if we’re relegated but we’re not even contemplating that yet as there are a lot of points still to play for.

“It’s a tough ask but Shaun is ready for the challenge and if we can get points against teams around us in the table that will be a big help.”