Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said his players already love new first team coach Karl Hawley to bits and he believes he has made the right choice.
Hawley came to the club as striker coach towards the end of last season but was last week named first team coach, working with Murray and fellow coach Richard Cooper.
“The players love him to bits,”smiled Murray. “He is someone who has a really good relationship with the boys.
“He is probably a bit of a shoulder for them, but at the same time if they need putting in their place, he has that relationship to do it.”
Highly experienced striker Hawley was a prolific goalscorer in the Football League, most notably at Carlisle United, where he achieved two promotions, scoring an average of one goal in every two games.
In a professional career which has spanned over 15 years, Hawley also enjoyed spells at clubs including Scunthorpe United, Preston North End and Notts County, where he was a key figure in helping the Magpies’ secure the League Two championship in 2010.
“What he’s done in the game speaks for itself,” said Murray. “We don’t need to talk about that. I think his achievements and the way he is looked at from inside the game is very high. So I am chuffed to bits.”
Murray ended up choosing from seven final candidates for the job and said: “It was a really tricky decision and there was a lot of thought went into it.
“It was probably trial and error with people last season and I spoke to a lot of people, probably seven in total, all of different backgrounds, different experience, and different relationships to myself.
“When I weighed it all up, with the options I am going to have, I think I’ve got the balance right.
“Karl is a modern day football person. Obviously he’s only just finished himself and he’s been coaching for a while now.
“I have been on a number of his coaching courses and he is spoken very highly of.”
He added: “Seeing him in and around our group last season probably edged it for him if I’m being totally honest - the respect he got off the lads.
“He’s someone who doesn’t say a lot, but when he speaks you listen. He’s not scared to tell me when he thinks I am wrong, which I need.
“He has an opinion and it’s a very honest opinion, but he’s very polite with it. But if he’s not happy with something he will tell you and I think the group need that. I certainly need it and he fits in well with me and Coops.
“We’ve got a really good balance with the U21s manager we’ve brought on board (Mike Whitlow). We have a lot of experience in there as well. We have a lot of drive and energy.
“Karl wants to be successful in his own right. Because he’s been around the club he knows me personally and knows how driven I am, he knows his standards are going to have to be top drawer for him to move up and carry on working in this environment. He knows what to expect.”