Prolific Colne striker Jay Hart believes the appointment of Steve Cunningham as boss at the XLCR Stadium has given the club renewed ambition.
The 23-year-old admits he was becoming slightly disillusioned with life at the club in the latter stages of Nigel Coates’s tenure, but the transformation has provided the boost he desperately needed.
Cunningham joined the Reds in mid-November after helping local rivals Padiham seal the North West Counties Premier Division title the previous season. And Hart believes the new man can achieve similar success with Colne once he gets the licence to rebuild in the summer ahead of the 2014/15 term.
“Cunny has had a huge impact since coming in, not only on me but on everybody at the club,” Hart said. “He’s a great guy and people are already starting to see massive improvements at Colne.
“He’s brought in a fan base which is class. They are non stop for 90 minutes, even when we go a goal down, and if we lose they’ll still clap and cheer us off the pitch. The lads love it! The club has already turned into a family friendly place and he has huge plans in place to improve Colne FC.”
The striker added: “A few months ago I was quite uncertain about my future at the club but with the new management team and the way everything is now organised I’m very happy and I’m looking forward to next season. People will see a completely different Colne and for all the right reasons.
“Colne will definitely be challenging next season. We’ll be a great outfit and it’ll be run the right way. My ambition is to help the club move forward, so I’m just going to keep my head down, crack on and hopefully the goals will start coming back too.
“Cunny made his ambitions clear to everybody when he was revealed as manager and everyone at Colne will stick by him. Everyone wants to win the league next season and we’ve got a very good chance. Big things are happening and I want to be a part of that.”
Hart has etched his name on the scoresheet 15 times in all competitions this season, but having only mustered three goals in the last 12 league outings he’s determined to add more to his tally.
“Personally my season hasn’t gone as well as it did last year but with all the changes recently at the club I’ve been tested in different positions and had different roles to play,” he said. “That’ll only help improve my game though which I’m happy about.
“As a club I think we’ve done well to stay where we have in the league considering what has gone on over the past few months. We have a great squad which is only going to get stronger thanks to the new management team and their knowledge of the game and the contacts they have.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s fixture away at struggling Winsford United, Hart added: “I just want the game to be on. There’s nothing worse than a game being called off. If it’s on then we’ll go and do what we do best and hopefully that’ll be enough to take the three points.”