New Whitehill Welfare manager Gary Small admits he is raring to go again next season after taking a six-month hiatus from the game.
The 34-year-old, who led Tranent Juniors to the 2015/2016 South Division title before quitting the Foresters Park side in December, has been put in charge in Rosewell after predecessor David Bingham left the Lowland League club eight days ago.
Small revealed he wasn’t short of offers upon leaving Tranent but never found himself tempted into a quick return.
“I’ve had quite a few opportunities to get back into football since resigning from Tranent but I was having my house built, I became a dad for the first time a couple of months ago and none of it really interested me,” he said. “It’s been an interesting six months as it’s the first time I’ve been out of football for a number of years. But when I saw that the Whitehill job was available, it was like someone had lit a fire underneath me and I said to myself ‘that’s the one I’m interested in’.
“I believe there were a lot of good candidates in for it so I’m really pleased. But I’m under no illusions as to just how big the job is going to be. I took a couple of days to work it out with the family before putting in an application last Wednesday. I was asked to come for an interview on Friday and was then offered the job just a day later.”
Small will be expected to improve on the club’s mid-table finish last season where they lost 16 of their 30 league fixtures contested.
“Our first pre-season game is scheduled for July 10 so it doesn’t give me too long to get things up and running,” he admitted. “We’ll need to bring some new players in and I’ll speak to the guys that were here last year and see what their thoughts are. If some of them want to move on then we’ll shake hands and say our goodbyes.
“It’s too early to speak about setting targets. The club of course want to see progression from last season and I’m an ambitious guy. If the club wants to set me targets then that’s fine but I have my own targets as well. I’m confident we can do better than last season’s eighth-place finish.”
Former Hearts Women’s manager Grant Scott has been appointed as Small’s assistant.