JAMES Scowcroft is on the verge of completing a U-turn to become Bury Town’s assistant manager.
The former Ipswich Town star had said he could only do the first-team coach role next season due to his media commitments, but the Free Press has learnt he is now in the final stages of discussions to succeed departed Richard Skelly as Richard Wilkins’ number two.
As well looking set for a big role in the dugout for the Blues next season, 36-year-old Scowcroft, who was out injured all last season, will renew his playing registration to provide a steadying influence from the bench.
Wilkins said: “Scowie has played at a high level of football and I do like to have players who know a lot about the game and he brings a wealth of experience.
“He did a bit of coaching with us last year and the lads know him and enjoyed his sessions.
“He will add a bit of experience from the bench as well, so it is two for the price of one for us.”
He added: “He will definitely help with the front players and will make Sam (Reed) and (John) Sands better players and that will allow me to concentrate on the defensive side of things.
“I cannot thank Richard Skelly enough for what he did for us though.”
Wilkins has urged Blues’ fans to be patient with new arrivals with Sam Reed and Lee Smith still not indicating if they will be back at Ram Meadow next season, with both still weighing up other others.
“The situation with Sam is he has got a chance to do a trial at a higher level club and he is keeping that open and is away on holiday at the minute,” said Wilkins.
“Lee Smith spoke to us before he went on holiday and has got another team who have offered him a very good financial package to sign him.
“He was supposed to get back to us Monday, but I have not heard a word yet.”
The Bury boss has revealed that even if both do go elsewhere, he would still not be looking for more than three new additions before their Ryman League Premier Division campaign kicks off on August 18.
“In the next couple of weeks there will be more comings and goings, as with pre-season approaching people will have to make a decision about where they are going to be,” said Wilikins.
“We will have a few players coming on trials and I do not know yet whether they are good enough for this level.
“There is no major panic though — we only need two to three players coming in and we need to be patient.”
Wilkins also added he has no hesitation in continuing to put faith in graduates of the West Suffolk College Football Academy, with youngster Connor Hall in particular set for a big campaign.
Players signed so far: Tom Bullard, Billy Clark, Mark Coulson, Marcus Garnham, Connor Hall, Evan Key, John Kennedy, Sam Nunn, Lee Reed, John Sands, Russell Short.
Players left so far: Danny Cunningham, Roscoe Hipperson, Kieran Leabon, Craig Nurse.