STEVE Davis is the favourite to become Nantwich Town's first full-time manager after Nigel Gleghorn left for Newcastle Town last week.
Former Crewe Alex central defender Davis, 38, was appointed caretaker boss on Friday and has told Dabbers chairman Clive Jackson he would like the post on a permanent basis.
Gleghorn, who had been in charge at Jackson Avenue for two-and-a-half years, was first to be offered the Nantwich job full-time but turned it down and was installed at Newcastle on Thursday.
Jackson said: 'Nigel is a good friend and one of the best coaches outside the Football League. He has other work commitments with South Trafford College and the FA and I understand his reasons for not taking the full-time position here.
'It's no secret that Newcastle Town have a bigger playing budget than we do and I'm sure they will be up there at the top of the league next season, but hopefully we won't be too far behind.'
Gleghorn's successor will have far greater responsibilities than just running the first team at an exciting time for the club.
Work is to start on their new state-of-theart £2 million stadium at Kingsley Fields in July and should be completed by March.
Jackson said: 'The vacancy for a head coach is just part of the bigger picture of what is happening at the club.
'On a totally different level, we are currently advertising for a football development officer which is a strategic role to plan our football development programme.
'What we're looking for in the head coach position is a hands-on person to deliver that programme.
'The main responsibility will be towards coach education for the many teams we have at the club and to develop girls' football, disabled and community coaching and to go into the schools and deliver timetabled curricular coaching.
'There is no better time to get involved with the club and I'm sure we will get quality applications for this job to help move us on again.'
Nantwich are inviting applications for the position but Davis, who has experience of managing in the Nationwide Conference with Northwich Victoria, will be a leading candidate with the club looking to make a quick appointment.
Jackson said: 'We hope to receive most of the applications by the end of the week, shortlist candidates the week after and start interviewing the week after that.'
Gleghorn helped Nantwich escape relegation in his first season in charge and guided them to sixth spot in 2002-03. But they failed to build on that last term and finished a disappointing 13th, missing out on a golden opportunity to win promotion to the revamped UniBond League.
Nonetheless, the former Stoke, Birmingham and Manchester City midfielder's parting was extremely amicable.
He said: 'I am sad to be leaving Nantwich. I had a good relationship with Clive but they want a full-time person there. Clive offered me the job but, because of other commitments, I couldn't take it.'
Gleghorn's assistant Anthony Buckle has also left the club. He was appointed new manager of Kidsgrove on Monday.
Anyone interested in the vacancy of head coach can contact club secretary Bernard Leycett on 07876 230280 for a copy of the job description.