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Grantham Town confirm joint bosses to stay on

Grantham Town have this week confirmed that the managerial duo of Russell Cousins and Paul Rawden will remain at the helm for next season.

The pair joined the Gingerbreads from Harrowby United in February following the departure of Richard Thomas.

Rawden acknowledges that it was not the best time of the season for them to take over but was glad that the goal of keeping Town in the NPL Premier Division was achieved.

Russ Cousins and Paul Rawden are looking to next season. (9946365)
Russ Cousins and Paul Rawden are looking to next season. (9946365)

Rawden said: ""When [club chairman] Nigel [Wedgwood] asked us to continue, it was an easy yes. We are both local to the club and want to continue what we have started.

""We were delighted to reach the goal of staying up, but the way it happened wasn't how we wanted. Coming in mid-February gave us no chance to build what we wanted, we had to beg, steal and borrow players who were available.

"We were hit with a barrage of injuries once the registration window closed, to a few key players, and losing Callum Coyle was a huge blow. Despite all of that, the club stayed up and that was the first of what we hope are positive steps for the club.

"We've been backed home and away by a very loyal and vocal group of supporters. They've understood the job we had ahead of us, they got behind us all the way. Having that support makes things easier to sell the club to prospective players."

On the subject of new recruits, Rawden hinted that negotiations were already on the go as he and Cousins look to bolster their ranks for the season ahead.

Rawden said: "We need at least six or seven players added to the squad to make us a lot more competitive. We didn't score enough goals, that's the first area to improve for us.

"We'll be talking to the current squad as soon as possible and in that regard, some conversations have already been had. We've already made offers to some new players. We will keep these close to our chest until they sign.

"We will be offering a few contracts, so thank you to the chairman and board of directors for backing us on this."

Club chairman Mr Wedgwood added: "The rebuilding plan has already begun, with emphasis on forming a strong, exciting and consistent new side. As Paul says, we'll announce any signings when it's possible."

Rawden said that the Gingerbreads were due to commence pre-season in the first week of July and that they are currently working on a list of friendly fixtures.

He said: "We'll be looking for some prestige ones and ones where they're competitive enough for us to see what a player can give us.

"I also think it's important to play sides lower down the pyramid as we want to give something back to the local sides."

Rawden said they were also hoping to hold an open training session, as well as a question and answer session with Town supporters during the pre-season period."

Chairman Mr Wedgwood said it was going to be a busy summer behind the scenes and made an appeal to the public: "As we go into our 145th year and the new season, it's as important as ever to get behind us. If you think you can help in any small way, please get in touch."

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