Whaley keen to take the Cuckoos forward
BRETT Whaley is anxious to prove footballing knowledge rather than family links earned him the position of Yaxley boss.
Whaley has set his sights on building a brighter future for the Cuckoos after leaving his post at March Town to take up his dream job in local management.
The Yaxley born and bred Whaley got the nod to take over his home village club on Saturday, only hours after being interviewed for the vacancy and only nine days after previous boss Gary Clipston had been axed despite achieving United Counties League Premier Division survival again last season.
And the 35 year-old shouldn’t have any trouble settling in at a club where his father Malcolm is a legendary figure in the club’s history on and off the pitch. Whaley’s uncle, Pete Burgess, currently sits on the board while his assistant Chris Lenton is the son of the club’s president, Jeff Lenton.
Whaley said: “Everyone at Yaxley is desperate to enjoy success, so they are not going to appoint someone because of family links.
“I’m sure there are people with their own opinions, but I believe I am building up a decent managerial CV and the time is right for me to step up to UCL Premier Division level.
“Yaxley is my club. It’s where I’m from, it’s where I played all my football and I’m excited by the chance to manage there.
“The people at Yaxley have made it clear they want to get into a position where the club can challenge for promotion up to Step Four of the nonleague ladder and it is my job to get into that position.
“The club is proud of it’s junior and youth set-up and there is also a reserve team starting again next season, so I have to make sure the structure is right all the way through.
“But the first thing I have to do is create the right mentality to get the club back to winning football matches again because it has been struggling for too long.
“It is a fresh start for everyone currently there. I won’t be going on past reputations and people will need to prove themselves on the pitch.”
Whaley cut his teeth in management with Yaxley’s old reserve team back in 2006 before spending two seasons at March.
He dropped into the Peterborough League with Ramsey Town where he spent 18 months at helm, suffering defeat in the PFA Senior Cup final of 2010 but assembling and developing the team that won the Premier Division title the following season.
Whaley had departed early in that campaign for Deeping Rangers where he spent several months as number two to Tuncay Korkmaz – an experience he reckons will be of considerable benefit now he is back in the UCL as a boss in his own right.
Whaley returned to March last season for a second spell and led the Hares to their best Ridgeons League First Division finish since being relegated to that level in 1997.
Yaxley president Jeff Lenton said: “This has been a rapid process but Brett ticked all the right boxes.
“He presented us with a comprehensive and well structured plan to steadily progress the club which includes the utilisation of our excellent youth set-up and our newly rein- stated reserve team.
“He is also well regarded in playing circles across the region and we are confident he has the right skills and credentials to bring out the best of our existing squads while introducing new, hungry players to be part of our growth and success.
“We considered some interesting applications for the post but Brett’s youthful dynamism, experience, ambition, man management skills and all-round professionalism shone through.”
DREAM JOB: Brett Whaley.