Harrogate Town have appointed Paul Thirlwell as their new assistant manager.
The club’s head of youth development takes on the role with immediate effect, replacing John McDermott, who stepped down from the position that he had held for six years, earlier this month.
Fans’ favourite Thirlwell joined the club in July 2015, after an eight-year stint with Carlisle United. The former Sunderland, Derby County and Sheffield United midfielder has since made 36 appearances for Town, and led the club’s under-21s side to a league title last season.
“I am really pleased to have been given this opportunity,” Thirlwell said.
“I am grateful to the gaffer for showing faith in me to step-up, and I’m looking forward to repaying his confidence.
“We’ve said it on a number of occasions, but we really are a close group here and John McDermott was a huge part of that. Everyone enjoyed having John around the place, and he will continue to be missed for a while I imagine.
“However, I want to make sure that I carry on in the same vain as Macca, in respect of getting the best out of the lads and working together with the manager.”
Manager Simon Weaver welcomed Thirlwell’s appointment, and suggested that continuity within the group was an important factor in the decision.
“Since joining us, Paul’s contribution both on and off the field has proved incredibly valuable. He has evolved to play an ever increasing role within the club over the last 12 months, and the fact that he can slot in to this new role so well is testament to the group we’ve assembled here,” he said.
Weaver, a strong believer in promoting from within hopes that the experience Thirlwell can provide will strengthen his backroom staff even further.
He continued: “I’m a believer in working with characters who understand what the club is all about.
“We’re building something here, and when I look around, from top to bottom we’ve got the makings of something special.
“I’ve always liked the stories of The Anfield Boot Room, of how Bill Shakily, Bob Paisley and Ronnie Moran were able to continue to develop ‘the Liverpool Way’ over a number of years.
“Those are the values we are looking to instill here at Harrogate Town and with Paul on board, alongside Vill Powell, Phil Lee and Lee Barraclough, we have a really strong unit behind the scenes, geared up to giving us the best chance of success going forward.”