Hardy takes Blues hot seat

Chris Hardy is Whitby Town's new manager
Chris Hardy is Whitby Town's new manager

Whitby Town have apppointed former Guisborough Town boss Chris Hardy as their new manager.

Hardy, 40, was handed the role following the Blues’ sacking of Darren Williams last week, and takes over a side currently mired in the Evo-Stik Premier Division’s relegation zone, five points from safety.

Town chairman Graham Manser said of the appointment: “Chris ticked all of the boxes.

“He’s experienced in non-league football, knows the area well, and has been successful as a manager. We’re delighted to have him on board.”

Hardy spent eight years with Guisborough, where he was voted Northern League manager of the season in 2014.

He steered them to third place in the Northern League First Division last season, using a high proportion of young players, including those brought through the Priorymen’s development team.

In the previous campaign, Hardy’s Guisborough beat Middlesbrough 1-0, in front of nearly 1,000 supporters at the Riverside Stadium, in the North Riding Senior Cup Final.

A statement released by the Blues following Hardy’s appointment on Thursday said: “Whitby Town would like to thank Guisborough Town for their co-operation on this matter.

“Lee Bullock has been appointed player-assistant manager, and the club wish to stress that Lee was consulted fully regarding Chris’ appointment. Lee is very happy in his new role, as he wishes to continue his playing career as long as possible.

“The club wants to take this opportunity to wish its new management team every success for future.

“Hopefully they will be able to escape relegation, but we know that this will be difficult.”

Earlier this week, player-coach Bullock, who led Town to a 4-1 win over Mickleover Sports on Saturday in his role as caretaker boss, distanced himself from a permanent managerial role.

“Whitby Town is a great club, but at the moment I’m still enjoying playing,” he said.

“There’s still a bit of life left in my legs yet, just about, and I think it’s a too early for me to be thinking about managing.

“In the future I’d love to do it, maybe a few years down the line, but at the moment I have still got a lot to learn.

“I did enjoy the caretaker role, and it was great to get a win, but it was hard work, managing from the pitch, and I couldn’t cope with doing that every week.”

Bullock believes that there is no reason why the Seasiders’ new gaffer shouldn’t be able to lead the club away from the Evo-Stik Premier Division’s relegation zone.

“There’s a decent squad here and I’m confident that these lads are good enough to move up the table.

“There is a lot of ability, but we have a lot of young players out of academies who just need to learn the habit of winning games of football at this level.”