New Barnstaple Town boss Richard Pears is keen to help continue to build the foundations of the club in order to target an eventual promotion push.
Barum have appointed the former Exeter City player to replace outgoing Barry Yeo as boss following a solid first season in the Southern League Division One South & West.
Whilst Pears does not feel a promotion challenge is viable straight away, he says he is keen to continue Yeo’s legacy.
He said: “I think what’s great about them is that they’re learning as they go along and the previous manager has done an excellent job, so I’ve said what I want to do is continue that legacy and I want to keep as many of the existing squad as I can and hopefully improve in one or two areas – for me it’s really about improving the club and improving our position in the league.
“I don’t think we’re going to be up there fighting for the promotion spots but what we can do is certainly improve upon the position that they have this year and really start to build the foundations to have a go within a three-year plan, that’s really what I’d like to do.
“I’m pleased and I’m grateful to Barnstaple for giving me the opportunity – they’ve obviously shown some belief in me and, like I said, I can’t wait to get on the phone to all the players and put my plans in place.”
Pears is no stranger to Division One South & West football, having been a coach at Tiverton Town in 2015/16, and he says he cannot wait to get started.
He said: “Barnstaple are a wonderful club – they’ve had a lot of success in the last three years and with the manager leaving I think it presents a wonderful opportunity for me to develop my managerial career.
“I’m hugely ambitious and I can’t wait to meet all the players at Barnstaple and put things in place to start having a right go with them, it’s very exciting and I can’t wait to get cracking, really.
“I had a good six months with Tiverton Town last season and I know the league quite well, what the standards of the league are and the expectations that are required.
“There’s a lot of local players who are certainly good enough and I think I’ve got the right connections to improve the current squad and hopefully take Barnstaple onwards and upwards, that’s my ambition.
“I think, with all the support they’ve got, and the capabilities they have, it’s an excellent opportunity for me.”
Pears joins Barum after a season at Exmouth Town in the Peninsula League Premier Division and, after successful season at that level, he felt the job in North Devon was too good to turn down.
He said: “I’ve had an absolutely fantastic season and I’m sad to be leaving because we did have a project at Exmouth that I wanted to fulfil but opportunities like this don’t come around too often.
“I know that they’ll understand and that I wish them all the best for the future.”