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Arran Duke has a point to prove after taking charge at Parson Drove

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Arran Duke has set out with a point to prove after being appointed the new manager of Parson Drove.

Duke - who has previously managed March Town, Wisbech Town and Wisbech St Mary - was confirmed as the man for the job last Wednesday in a club statement.

Former first team joint-bosses Gary Haime and Robbie Harris will stay on at the club as chairman and vice-chairman respectively.

Arran Duke has set out with a point to prove
Arran Duke has set out with a point to prove

Duke was sacked by March early last season after a stuttering start to their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division campaign, before briefly taking joint-charge at Wisbech Town.

He believes that experience has lit a fire in his belly as he takes on a fresh challenge.

“Everyone goes on about the March thing where I got sacked. Well, three months earlier we got promoted,” he told the Citizen.

Duke (right) co-managing Wisbech Town last season
Duke (right) co-managing Wisbech Town last season

“There’s a bigger picture sometimes, and I want to prove some points.

“Not that I feel like I need to - we got the team promoted and after four games I was sacked.

“So while that was frustrating, it made me more determined to get things right and push on. So we’ll see what happens.”

Duke was due to take charge of his first Drove training session on Monday night, and he hoped to greet existing players while welcoming along a few new faces.

The Thurlow Nunn First Division North side will be looking to improve on a 2021/22 campaign that saw them finish second bottom - and Duke insists he is the right man for the job.

“I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to come around. I had a few different chances to get back involved,” he said.

“When this came up, it was a no-brainer. It’s literally five minutes from my house, and it’s a league that I’ve been in and around for quite a while now.

“It made sense to give it a go. Obviously last season I think it was frustrating in terms of their finish - they probably underachieved quite dramatically.

“I want to climb the table. I did watch a lot of games last year in the league, and I feel that if I can get the players that I want -and with the players we have - there’s no reason we can’t push up and challenge around the play-offs.”

Duke will get his first chance to see his new squad in action on July 5, when they host Blackstones in their opening friendly fixture.

They then face Over Sports (July 9), Leverington Sports (July 12), March Town Reserves (July 16), Rothwell Corinthians (July 19) and Raunds (July 23).

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