Diss challenge has given me a new buzz - Richard Daniels
Norfolk Senior Cup winning manager Richard Daniels admits he is 'quietly devastated' after leaving Gorleston after four years – but has spoken of the new buzz he is feeling after joining struggling Diss Town.
In a whirlwind few days Daniels quit his director of football post with the Greens to fill the vacancy created when Robert Taylor resigned after upsetting supporters with printed remarks which prompted a public apology from Tangerines club chairman Dickie Upson.
Daniels described the moment when Diss got in touch with him 10 days ago as 'a bolt out of the blue' but said after meeting the chairman 'there was a buzz which came back'.
He is looking forward to the challenge of turning around the fortunes of the 1994 FA Vase winners on his return to the club where he was Reserve team manager when ex-Canary Robert Fleck was at the first team helm, around a decade ago.
Daniels, who is beng assisted by former Long Melford boss Jason Maher, was in the dug-out on Saturday as the lowly Tangerines lost 4-1 to high-flying Brantham – their 11th defeat in 16 Thurlow Nunn Premier Division games.
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'There were plenty of positives. But they are down near the bottom for a reason.
'It's going to take a lot of hard work to turn things round but it's a well-run club, Dickie Upson runs a tight ship. There will be players coming in and players going out of the door. It's going to take a couple of results with the new players and hopefully we can get out of the mess,' said Daniels.
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He said leaving the Greens had left him feeling 'quietly devastated' but revealed: 'I just felt over the last six or seven weeks I was losing my drive. A lot of people within the game would say that whatever I did with Gorleston was always passion-led but I was getting up on a Saturday morning and not looking forward to the match. I didn't really want to be there any more.'
Daniels, who led the Greens to the ECL Division One title in 2011, teamed up with joint-manager Stuart Larter, a six-times ECL title winner with Wroxham and former Kirkley and Pakefield joint- manager last November. Together they masterminded the Norfolk Senior Cup final success over Thetford Town at Carrow Road in a season overshadowed by the death of club president Jimmy Jones.
Larter was given sole control last month with Daniels stepping aside for what he described as 'the good of the club' to focus on a newly-created director of football post at Emerald Park and his work as vice-chairman.
Daniels stressed that there had been no bust-up or fall-outs with Larter or new club chairman Alan Gordon and backed them both to take the club forward.
'Stuart Larter is a first-class manager. He is tactically very astute and he is a very nice bloke – we are very good friends. There are no bad feelings. I would work with Stu again anywhere. Alan Gordon stood by me and I couldn't have asked for any more. He has got a real vision and burning drive.'
Daniels admitted that getting the Greens out of his system will take some doing.
'I was on the phone to Stu straight away at 5.45 on Saturday and I was pleased they won 5-2. I hope they do well, apart from in the two games against us, of course. If Stu is given time by the players and the committee there is no reason why Gorleston Football Club can't be challenging at the top of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division for many years to come. It's a well-run club.'
Following Daniels' shock departure last week Gorleston issued a statement expressing 'regret' and thanking him for his work but said the club is looking forward to future challenges.
Daniels said his dedication to the Greens had been for love not money.
'Apart from the odd phone bill, in four years I didn't get a penny but I was proud to do it for nothing. I did it for the love of the club.'
His next challenge will be on Saturday when fellow strugglers Felixstowe are the visitors. There will be new faces in the line-up. Daniels son Tom, a former Gorleston defender, has swiftly joined him at Diss. Others may follow.
There is no shortage of potential recruits in the pipeline, despite Diss Town's precarious position, insisted Daniels.
'There are 10 or 12 on the shortlist who are keen to jump on board.'