Buxton boss Gary Hayward pays tribute to his backroom staff

Gary Hayward has paid tribute to his Buxton backroom staff after the club's impressive start to the season.

By Duncan Browne
Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 4:37 pm
Buxton manager Gary Hayward has praised his staff. Photo: Brian Eyre
Buxton manager Gary Hayward has praised his staff. Photo: Brian Eyre

While the Bucks boss has been in the dug-out for all of his side's Northern Premier League matches this season, he has had to allocate training sessions to his team of assistant Mark Ward and coach Nigel Keogh as he recovers from a leg amputation operation.

"I must say, I've got to really thank my staff," Hayward told The Advertiser.

"Nigel Keogh's been doing the coaching, he's been brilliant.

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"And Mark Ward's stepped in and done coaching and a bit of me, getting my messages across.

"What I asked him to do, he's done it to the ticket.

"I haven't been able to be there (training) but I've been sending orders out and they've been absolutely superb.

"I can't thank them enough as I've been in hospital. The boys and Dave Hopkins, the chairman, they've all been superb with me and I can't thank them enough.

"I'm really grateful and thankful. They've been great in a really difficult time."

Hayward is currently watching from the sidelines in a wheelchair, but hopes to soon be fitted with a prosthetic leg which will eventually enable him to take training sessions as before.

Following Tuesday’s 3-1 victory against Mickleover, Buxton face a bank holiday double against league rivals Stalybridge Celtic and Stafford Rangers.

While the Bucks boss believes building momentum through regular match action is a good thing, he is also keen to be able to get his side doing some more training ground work when possible.

“I'm a bit of both,” he said when asked how he felt about playing three games in a week.

“While we're doing well you want to be playing as much as possible, get the points on the board.

"But I also like to get on the training ground. Obviously, because I’m wheelchair bound it's quite hard for me at the moment.”

The midweek success over Mickleover has seen the Bucks continue their brilliant start to the Northern Premier League campaign, recording three wins and a draw from their first four contests.

Hayward has only tasted defeat twice since taking over in the Buxton dug-out and is hoping that building a side hard to beat can bring the club glory this season.

Andy Dales gave Mickleover a third-minute lead on Tuesday.

But as with the weekend's 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester, the Bucks fought back.

*In-form New Mills made it five wins and a draw in their six North West Counties Division One South matches with a 5-2 win at bottom club Barnton.

That made them 10 unbeaten from last season and sits them second only on goal difference from leaders Sandbach.

Joe Bevan scored a brace, taking his season tally to seven, while Jake Pollard, Harry Norris and Rick Tindall netted the others and Darren McKnight had a penalty saved.

New Mills have a double home bank holiday weekend with St Martins the visitors on Saturday and Stockport Town on Monday.