New era at Nelson!

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A new era has begun at Nelson Football Club.

And boss Andy Harrison is excited about what the future holds at Little Wembley.

On Tuesday evening, chairman Fayyaz Ahmed stepped down with immediate effect from his role, replaced by Shaun Lloyd, father of Admirals players Charlie and Jake.

A statement read: “We would like to place on record a message of thanks to Fayyaz for his hard work and commitment to the club over the years, and wish him well in the future.”

Ahmed put his faith in Harrison last season, handing him the reins after Steve Cunningham’s departure, and for that, Harrison remains grateful: “Fayyaz gave me the opportunity when he had a number of other managers sniffing around the job, he gave me the chance when a lot of clubs might have gone for a more experienced or older manager, so I thank him for that.

“And I like to think he has been vindicated, in terms of the football side of things, from where it was to where it is now, I don’t think anyone can say we haven’t done a good job so far.

“It was a bit of a mission impossible when we took over, the turnover of players was horrendous, and we have a far more settled squad now.

“And although we are currently 14th, I believe we are better than that - we are only four points from fifth.

“So I thank Fayyaz for giving me the opportunity, but it’s about looking forward now.”

Lloyd is going to take away some of the responsibilities, which have fallen on Harrison’s shoulders, on top of his managerial role, allowing him to purely focus on the team, and he is excited at the prospect: “He wants to take as much pressure off me on a matchday, and allow me to focus on the football side of things.

“And the key message is that this won’t be plain sailing, there’s not lots of money to throw at it, but there will be a lot of hard work, with good people on board to help us achieve our goals.

“Half the battle for Fayyaz was many of the volunteers on board when he took over have left, so we will be putting together a committee of five or six, around the club as much as possible, to try and get us back to the next level.

“We aim to finish as high as we can every season, and I don’t like the P word - promotion - it puts too much pressure on.

“We’ll just try and win as many games as we can, try and keep the squad together and add a few more for depth - maybe attract players who we couldn’t previously.

“But next season will be all about getting things right off the pitch, and if that happens, I can focus on the football and who knows where it can take us?

“The players are buzzing, change affects people, and Fayyaz has probably taken the club as far as he can, so they are upbeat and looking forward to a new era.”

On Saturday, Nelson won 1-0 at St Helens, thanks to a third-minute goal from striker Yves Zama.

The Admirals could and should have won by more, but claimed a much-needed three points.

On Saturday, Nelson face a local derby as Bacup Borough visit Little Wembley.