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New Chester FC assistant manager Ross Thorpe on his new role

Number two will be looking to unearth some gems for the Blues

Ross Thorpe and Marcus Bignot(Image: Terry Marland)

New Chester FC assistant manager Ross Thorpe will be using his knowledge of the lower leagues to try and unearth some gems for the Blues.

Thorpe, 36, was alongside new Chester boss Marcus Bignot for his first game in charge on Saturday as the Blues claimed a 2-0 success over Maidenhead United at the Swansway Chester Stadium - a first home win in nine months.

Bignot was appointed as Chester boss on Wednesday, succeeding Jon McCarthy, and moved quickly to bring in Thorpe as his number two.

Thorpe’s knowledge of the non-league scene, especially in the Midlands, has proved beneficial to Bignot in the past during his time as boss of Solihull Moors, and the two have worked together successfully before, something that the new assistant is keen to do again.

“I’ve known Marcus for the last four or five years from his time with Solihull Moors and Birmingham City Ladies,” said Thorpe, who also works as head coach of the women’s side at Nottingham Trent University, where Blues midfielder Tom Shaw also works as a coach with the men’s side.

“When I was a manager (at Alvechurch) Marcus would send his better youngsters on to me who he wanted to get experience of non-league football and I would keep my eye out for lads who I thought could possibly make the step up.

“We then ended up working together at Solihull and my remit was to get out and watch games and try and find players who could make an impact.

“As well as the coaching side of things that is part what I’ll be doing at Chester. I’ll be getting out and watching games of football all over, from under-18s, U21s and non-league, trying to find young lads who are tough enough for the National League or guys who we think could make the step up. That’s what I did at Solihull.”

As well as his current role with Nottingham Trent University and working at Solihull Moors and Birmingham City Ladies with Bignot, Thorpe, a Uefa A licence holder, has managed non-league side Alvechurch and also had a spell as assistant at Sutton Coldfield Town.

And while Thorpe enjoyed Saturday’s success over Maidenhead he acknowledges that plenty of hard work lies ahead.

“We only had one training session with the players before the Maidenhead game and we didn’t want to overload them with too much information,” he said.

“They are a group who have experience of playing at this level so we knew they were more than capable of going out there and getting a win. We didn’t make reference to the home form going into it, it was more a case of what we wanted to see from them over the next few games. But they responded superbly and everything about them was first class, as has been the welcome from all at the club and the backroom team.

“But we have a lot of work ahead and we aren’t getting carried away with Saturday. We have a big game at Eastleigh on Saturday and now all our focus is on getting another three points on the board, then another, then another.”

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