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New Wisbech St Mary boss Paul Hunt has set his sights on Thurlow Nunn First Division North survival

New boss Paul Hunt believes survival is an achievable target as he takes over a winless Wisbech St Mary side.

The Saints parted company with Stuart Beckett on Sunday after an 11-0 drubbing at the hands of Norwich CBS left them rooted to the bottom of the Thurlow Nunn First Division North standings.

They then quickly announced the appointment of former Swaffham Town manager Hunt, who guided The Pedlars to promotion from the same league three years ago.

Paul Hunt when he was in charge at Swaffham Town
Paul Hunt when he was in charge at Swaffham Town

"First and foremost, you want to become competitive in the league," Hunt told The Citizen.

"Survival is based on that, but I'll be looking onwards and upwards. I want us first of all to stabilise what we've got, and then we want to build a better team that includes players here and players coming in."

Hunt has played and managed at this level for over 30 years, and believes his experience will prove vital in St Mary's relegation battle.

"Obviously I go in totally fresh," he said.

"Training is really important to me. I'm a coach as well as a manager, so I really like to get onto the training pitch.

"I haven't seen them train before, so I'll go in there with a blank slate and make sure the coaching is going to be well structured, make sure the players know that the coaching is what's going to make them better on a game day.

"I'll get them disciplined, get them doing the right things on the pitch. They've got some good players and some really good youngsters, so we'll try to pull that together and add more players to it as well to make a nicely rounded squad.

"I think Stuart has done a really good job of steadying the ship and steering it through a tough period, stuck at it and kept it going."

In a statement, Beckett said: "Whilst the decision has been made for a little while, I am disappointed to announce I will be leaving as manager.Yesterday was a very low point on which to leave but the club has rightly taken time to appoint the right person.

"This is not a decision that has been taken lightly personally and the club has been hugely supporting of me and everything I have tried to do. The club will always mean a great deal to me and I will always be a part of it.

"As a club we have attempted to negotiate some of the hardest times in football, and in life too, and while I still remain my personal drive to improve everything I do,my hope and optimism has been diminished by player and personal commitment and approach following such unprecedented times.

"I wish my successor all the best and I'm looking forward to spending some much-needed time with my family and seeing Wisbech St Mary Football Club on the rise."

  • The Saints entertain Huntingdon Town on Saturday in the Eastern Counties League First Division North.

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