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Corney: "After We Met With Darren, It Was Really Hard Not To Pick Him."

8 May 2015

Chairman Simon Corney admitted new manager Darren Kelly blew him away in the interview process and made it difficult not to choose him as Oldham Athletic's new boss.

Kelly's clear ambition for the football club was what persuaded Corney to appoint him as the club's new manager and he is excited to work with the 35-year-old.

He said: "We had a long and exhausting list of applicants and we met some great potential managers. Some experienced ones, but you have to go with your gut and go with what you see in the interview process. 

"When Darren came along, I got the same feeling as what I did with Lee Johnson previously. I think Lee has made a very successful start to his career so far. 

"If you look back, Paul Dickov has done a fantastic job at Doncaster and John Sheridan is in the play offs at the moment so we have a good record here at the club. 

"The managers go before the whole board of six people and together we make a decision and after we met with Darren, it made it really hard not to pick him. 

"Darren is under no illusions, it is about results. Everyone knows it is a results business and if we do well, I will look smart, we will look smart and Darren will be looked upon as the next great young manager.

"I firmly believe we have someone here that is going to bring a lot to the game. It is hard for both Darren and myself to explain what the plan is going to be. 

"We have talked extensively and know what direction we are going in and we are looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong."

Asked about whether Kelly would have the chance to bring in players next season, Corney responded: "We appoint a manager for lots of reasons and we will support them and Darren will be no different. 

"If you look at the amount of players Lee brought in before him, it was quite substantial. We want what is best for the club and we flirted with the play offs this year because we backed our manager time and time again. 

"We have a history for doing so so I don't see any difference this time around."

Dean Holden steps aside to become Kelly's number two and the chairman paid tribute to him. "We are very grateful to Dean. Dean did a fantastic job," he said.

"We know how difficult it is to be thrown into that situation. When he took over we had a lot of injuries and things were conspiring against us and Dean secured our safety really early on. 

"It's the earliest we have been mathematically safe and Dean has a lot to offer. I have no doubt he will be a manager one day and he will learn a lot from Darren, and Darren will learn a lot from Dean.

"Together, we, the board, believe they are a great combination and they can do great things."


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