Wilson keen to pick the right man as new assistant

Darren Caskey (right) has left Kevin Wilson and Ilkeston FC to join Gateshead
Darren Caskey (right) has left Kevin Wilson and Ilkeston FC to join Gateshead

Kevin Wilson says the search for a new member of staff to replace Darren Caskey could take some time - but that he is determined to find a suitable person for the job.

Caskey left to join up with Gary Mills at Gateshead last week having been an integral part of Ilkeston FC’s formation and subsequent success, both in terms of coaching the academy and the first team.

And with Wilson feeling the effects of losing someone so key to the Robins’ cause, he has now begun the process to fill the void, although won’t be rushing into any decisions.

He said: “It’s difficult to lose someone who you’ve worked so closely with for over four years and who to be honest I saw more than my own family.

“We knew each other back to front and often what the other was thinking and that meant a successful partnership.

“But it’s a great opportunity for Darren at Gateshead and we now have to move on.

“We need to decide whether we replace him with a full-time academy coach and a part-time assistant manager for the first team, or like-for-like in terms of someone who can put in the vast amount of hours needed and who follows the club’s ethos.

“They have to buy into that otherwise it won’t work. It’s a chance for a new era and to push the club forward. We’re doing well in the league and the academy is moving forward, all of which Darren played a big part in.

“We may be looking at making the young first team players here completely full-time but as yet we’re not sure whether that will be short, medium or long term. Darren’s replacement will have to have the same thinking we currently have.”

Ilkeston’s first game without Caskey on the sidelines was the 2-0 defeat to Grantham Town on Saturday, a game Wilson felt aggrieved to have lost.

He said: “We created enough really good, solid chances to have won the game but didn’t take them, whereas Grantham scored with two of the few opportunities they had.

“We’ve got to play football more and work harder, but at times on Saturday we got drawn into doing what Grantham did and it cost us.”

Wilson now takes his side to struggling Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday, aiming to arrest a run of three defeats in four.

He said: “We’ve got to dust ourselves down after Saturday and get on with trying to win games.

“We’re still short in certain areas and are trying to do deals but, as always, won’t be paying out silly money and will be sticking to our budget.

“The full-back position needs looking at given Ryan (Wilson) has been out for a while now and Rob Kozluk has ceased playing, and we still need another striker although goalscoring isn’t the biggest worry given we’re joint top scorers in the league.

“The problems remain the same in that we’re conceding too many goals and the work ethic isn’t right at the moment, but it’s something we’re working very hard on.”

Meanwhile, The Ilkeston Football Club Supporters Group are to stage fundraising events during the course of this year and next in aid of upgrading the public address system at the New Manor Ground.

IFCSG chairman Duncan Payne said: “Now that the group is firmly established we can turn our attention to helping out the football club.

“Every couple of years or so we shall take on a project that will not only aid Ilkeston FC but, just as importantly, be something which benefits the supporters at the same time.”

The first fund raiser is the IFCSG’S annual race night which will be held this year on Saturday, November 30 at the Sir John Warren on Ilkeston Market Place.

Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson and several players hope to be in attendance. The event will commence at 7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.