By DYLAN INGLIS
GREIG MITCHELL was happy taking time out from football – until an old pals act persuaded him to return.
Former West Calder boss Mitchell became Newmains United assistant manager late last year.
He had known Victoria Park co-gaffer Paul Davies for a number of years both on and off the pitch.
So when Mitchell – then focusing on his kid’s football – got a call asking if he’d be interested in coming on board he jumped at the chance.
He said: “One night last year I got a text from Paul asking if I was interested in helping at Newmains.
“The timing was right, I was really keen to get back into it and I wanted to get back in at a decent level.
“Paul asked me to come in for a couple of weeks and see if this was the right opportunity.
“But it only took me a couple of nights to realise it was excellent. I could see the journey that he and the others had been on and the direction they wanted to go.”
United’s forward-thinking is often praised and Mitchell – who came through the youth ranks at Rangers and Falkirk as a kid – admits it was something which attracted him.
He said: “I’ve been involved in things with Paul in the past. He’s ambitious, he makes things happen and he’s got a real positive way of selling an opportunity.
“I’d followed the club and seen their progression from when the current regime had taken over to where it is now.
“There’s been real development and I know those guys won’t stop at that. It was important to me I was going somewhere which was professional and had ambition.
“Lots of other opportunities came up but I could see Paul, Craig Gupwell and the guys were taking this club in the right direction. Once Paul got me on the phone there was no option to say no!”
Mitchell also had spells starring for the likes of Bonnyrigg Rose, Bo’ness, Kilsyth and East Stirling.
He’s been impressed with the quality he saw in the squad before the current lockdown started.
Mitchell added: “What struck me first was there were good numbers.
“An issue a lot of other teams have is getting guys at training but on the first few nights we had at least 20 there.
“Week-on-week I’ve seen them getting better. We’ve been introducing new things.
“Sometimes that togetherness in a squad can take a bit of time to develop but the management team’s good selection of signings and the guys who were there before have welcomed me and the new players really well.
“Lockdown coming when it did was frustrating because we were getting a bit of momentum going.
“But when we get back I think we’ll start off from a higher position than we were at before.”
By DYLAN INGLIS