Didn’t See That Coming

The appointment of Steve Burr as the man to lead Harriers back into the Football League took many people, myself included, by surprise.

When I wrote my post on the imminent appointment of a manager, speculating that Jim Harvey was the man most likely to get the job, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of Burr getting the job.

By the time I got to the Lewes game on Tuesday night I had almost convinced myself that Jimmy Quinn, formerly of Cambridge and Shrewsbury, was the best man for the job.  My thinking was that a Play-Off final with Cambridge and taking Shrewsbury out of this league, along with good performances at Reading and, to my recollection at least – I didn’t check my facts, Northwich, he had all the credentials required to a greater extent even than Harvey.  I even speculated in conversation with some friends that “wasn’t it Quinn in charge of Northwich when they overcame the big points deduction?”.

Steve Burr. Photo by Adam Church-Millward (http://twitter.comchurchymill)

Steve Burr - New Harriers Manager (photo: Adam Church-Millward -twitter.com/churchymill)

Well I was completely wrong.  It wasn’t Harvey, it wasn’t Quinn and it wasn’t – as the press were convinced – Jeff Kenna.  Steve Burr has got the job and initially I wasn’t ecstatic as chairman Barry Norgrove had predicted that most Harriers fans would be.  I’m still not ecstatic, but that’s probably because I don’t really get ecstatic about anything these days, but I’m not disappointed.  In the same way that the more I thought about Jimmy Quinn, the more I liked the idea of him, the more I think about Steve Burr the more I think that he could do a good job here.  In the last six season he has won two league titles – Unibond League with Hucknall Town when the Unibond League fed directly into the Conference, only for his team to be denied promotion because the ground wasn’t up to scratch and Conference North with Northwich.  The latter after he had led the ‘Vics to a successful fight against relegation after being docked ten points (the season that I had thought Quinn was in charge) only for them to be thrown out of the Conference on a technicality; reached a play-off final with Stalybridge and just missed out on the play-offs with Celtic by one place.

The new man has all of the required credentials, he knows the non-league scene, he’s managed in Conference National before, he’s been successful, and by all accounts gets his teams playing decent football.  Only time will tell if he turns out to be a success, but there seems to be a tangible feeling of optimism around the place at the moment.  Over on the messageboard of this website there has been a large swing of support towards the chairman and board of directors for pulling this appointment out of the hat – several weeks of negotiations behind the scenes to get their man while people thought that they were dragging their feet and using any excuse, such as the snow or penny-pinching, to avoid naming a successor to Mark Yates – leading to quite a few people having to eat their words.

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St@tto
St@tto 67 posts

Web programmer; Kidderminster Harriers supporter; wannabe guitarist

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