Grainger is excited about a bright future for Cornard

BACK IN TOWN: Paul Grainger has returned as first-team manager of Cornard United. While he was away he won the Thurlow Nunn First Division Knockout Cup with Debenham LC before his surprise departure from Maitlands in the summer
BACK IN TOWN: Paul Grainger has returned as first-team manager of Cornard United. While he was away he won the Thurlow Nunn First Division Knockout Cup with Debenham LC before his surprise departure from Maitlands in the summer

Paul Grainger is back for a second spell as manager of Cornard United, following the decision of Mark Hoskin to step down from the post.

Grainger, joint manager with former owner Chris Symes in 2012/13, has rejoined the Blackhouse Lane club at what he describes as ‘an exciting time’.

He added: “The future looks good here and I think the club can really go forward.”

Hoskin — who battled to keep the club going through a difficult 2013/14 season, when its very existence was threatened — is currently taking a well-deserved holiday and is expected to concentrate on coaching when he returns.

A first approach to Grainger, who parted company with Debenham LC in May, was rebuffed because ‘the time wasn’t right’.

“I promised myself I wouldn’t leap at the first job that came up,” added Grainger. “I had to be sure it was somewhere I wanted to be.

“I’ve talked to Mark regularly and once I started watching some matches I realised how much I enjoy being involved.

“I enjoyed the time here I had first time round, although it was a struggle.

“Now the future looks good, and that’s why I came back.

“It’s nothing like the situation when I came over last time, and I looked in the dressing room and thought ‘oh my God’. This time around I felt quite positive when I looked in the dressing room.”

He is full of praise for the work that has been carried out at the club.

“We are trying to bring the youth through, there is a link with Cornard Dynamos and the place has been totally transformed,” he said. “It just seems a good club to be at right now.”

Despite Saturday’s defeat — Cornard’s fifth in the league, which leaves them still without a point — Grainger felt there were plenty of positives.

“All you can ask in a first game is that people put in the effort and commitment, and they’ve done that,” he said. “And to perform as well as they did, with so many players still to come back, it can only get better.

“Here we have really good under-18s, some really promising players.

“There is so much talent at this club yet to come through.

“It’s a good club to be at, but nobody’s expecting miracles — it’s season one of the new regime.”

Cornard United host FC Romania in the first round qualifying of the FA Vase on Saturday (3pm) and manager Paul Grainger knows the Thurlow Nunn First Division side will start as underdogs against their Essex Senior League opponents.

FC Romania were formed by immigrants from Romania in 2006.