9th December 2019 - Minihane relishing opportunity at Patchway Town
TIM Minihane says he is relishing an opportunity to manage his home town club following the most challenging of 14 months attempting to steer Tytherington Rocks to safer shores.
The embattled 37-year-old former Oldbury Reserves boss was recently relieved of his post at perennial Hellenic League Division One West strugglers Tytherington but was quickly scooped up by Patchway Town player-boss Phil Vice, who had been confronting his own similar battles head on in the depths of the Marcliff Gloucestershire County League basement.
The pair oversaw last weekend’s spirit-raising 2-1 Scott Park success over local rivals Little Stoke, an outcome all the more eye catching as Ash Coles’ visitors had won their four previous games.
A much happier Minihane, who had watched his new side crash to a 7-0 away mauling by AEK Boco the previous week, enthused: "Saturday against Little Stoke was everything we’d been working on.
"We were outstanding in the second half and with only one sub too due to a lot of unavailability.
"I’m delighted as it’s been a big thing for me. I’m a Patchway lad who grew up in the town and played for their reserves once or twice eight years or so ago.
"I’d just left Tytherington and was having conversations down my local pub. I knew Patchway’s assistant manager Thomas Vaughan couldn’t commit anymore and that the manager Phil was still an important member of the team, predominantly as a midfielder.
"He asked me if I would be prepared to look after the changing room on matchdays and deliver the team talks to allow him to concentrate on playing and that is what’s happened, with the help of others.
"It’s still predominantly Phil’s team and he’s doing a great job under difficult circumstances. Everyone is pulling together, training numbers are good and the players are realising they have to put in the effort if they want to get rewards."
Of that Little Stoke pick-me-up, Minihane recalled: "We were 1-0 down (through Blaine Skuse) amid an early wobble. We’d created a few chances but looked shaky at the back.
"We rode our luck initially as they had a disallowed goal just before half-time and then our Sam Burgess made a fantastic save from a penalty soon after half-time to keep us in it.
"After a few tactical adjustments at the interval we went on to defend resolutely, springing counter attacks brilliantly, creating good chances and scoring two quick goals, both by Jesse Hudson from quality balls in by Josh Morris down the right.
"Fair play to the Little Stoke manager Ash afterwards as he came in and said we’d thoroughly deserved it. So it was a very satisfying afternoon.
"It was a proper derby with thunderous tackles and brought only our second win of the season. It’s given us belief but we need to keep going until we’re mathematically safe, which is why this Saturday’s home game with Bromley Heath is a must-win one along with all the others we face."
Asked about his Tytherington departure Minihane, whose Patchway hopefuls are at Thornbury Town on Tuesday night (7.30pm) for a GFA Challenge Trophy second round affair, admitted: "I was very disappointed at how my time with Tytherington ended and how the club dealt with me.
"But I had lessons I wouldn’t have experienced in any other circumstances and I don’t hold any grudges; I wish them all the best.
"I was asked to resign based on the team not showing enough progression. My stint there affected my life personally as I gave everything to try and make a success of it.
"I was touched by a couple of local clubs who got in touch, and others from the wider community, appreciating what I’d done there as I felt we’d put the right foundations in place.
"But that’s gone now and hopefully I can enjoy more successful times with Patchway.
"I’m delighted to be involved on matchdays again, even though I was only out of the game for about two weeks when I felt like a lost sheep!"