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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Ex-Carlisle midfielder in his element in Whitehaven dugout

Former pro Stuart Green fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he switched to the dugout this season – and the Whitehaven Amateurs boss is enjoying every moment.

Stuart Green photo
Stuart Green

The former Carlisle United and Workington Reds midfielder, who worked under the likes of Bobby Robson, Peter Taylor and Ruud Gullit during a long playing career, has guided hometown club Whitehaven to a top 10 position in Northern League Division Two in his first season in charge.

And he believes they have an outside chance of capping the campaign with promotion.

“From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a manager, even more than playing,” said Green, who joined Newcastle United as a junior and went on to feature for Crystal Palace and Hull City.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I went in with my eyes wide open and have tried to improve things.

“I played last season at Workington and through injury and a few other little things I didn’t enjoy it. It was best for me and for Workington in the long run that we parted ways.

“Now I’m absolutely loving it. You are learning all the time and the lads have been terrific.”

Green pointed out that on Boxing Day last season, Whitehaven had earned 18 points. This time it was 39 points.

“Some might say we are overachieving,” added Green. “We could be a little better, but it has given us a real chance of going for something. We seem to be better away from home and we need to look at that. We have played some great football away from home. The lads are a little more confident away, and it’s my job to address that.

“There are some very good teams in this league, and I honestly think we are one of them.”

Amateurs, who are still in the County and League Cups, have won eight away games in the league this term, and only four at home.

They lie ninth in the table, just seven points behind Seaham Red House, who sit in the third promotion place.

And home wins in their next two games, both at home, against Birtley, on Saturday, and Washington, would ensure they remain in contention.

“I don’t think we’ll be in the mix, but it would be great to still be in touching distance with 10 games to go. In our league some big clubs are financially pushing the boat out to get promotion,” he said.

“The plan for us was just to improve, and then improve again next season. We have some terrific young players, such as Jake and Sam Smith, Jack Hunter, Scott McCrae and Danny Hodgson, who are improving every week.”

Green has not featured this season but is understandably hesitant about calling time on his playing career.

“It’s not something I’m looking forward to,” he admitted. “I had a great career and don’t want to let it go. But even if I wanted to put my boots back on, there are some great lads in my position.”

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