AS one of Dalton United’s longest-serving clubmen, Phil Rigg has just about seen it all during his time at Railway Meadow.

Now as joint-manager with Andrew Marshall, although still harbouring hopes of a return to playing once free of injury, Rigg has been heavily involved with helping the club rebuild after some difficult times in recent seasons.

That work is starting to come to fruition, recognised by Dalton being awarded West Lancashire League Division Two club of the month for September, along with Marshall and Rigg winning the league’s manager of the month accolade.

And for the latter, it is pleasing to see things starting to turn around.

“It’s about my 17th or 18th season at the club now,” said Rigg. “I’ve had the rough and the smooth; we won the Richardson Cup previously under other management and other players, but it’s been very difficult.

“But I’m not one for turning my back in hard times, I just dig my heels in, grit my teeth and try to turn things around.

“Fortunately we’ve affiliated ourselves with the right people and right connections, and seem to be moving in the right direction now.”

It has been a case of consolidation followed by rebuilding for Dalton, who are for now just running senior and reserve set-ups after the A team disbanded.

There have been changes on the committee too, while Rigg cited the attitude of the players as one of the biggest factors in their recent upturn in fortunes on the field.

“Probably the biggest change for us is the players’ interest,” said Rigg.

“They’ve really stepped up in the past two seasons and we’ve put a lot of effort into making it enjoyable for the players, and making sure they have a good time.”

No scheduled game tomorrow means Dalton will have to wait until the following Saturday’s visit of Longridge Town reserves to shake off the 3-1 defeat to Cartmel & District in the county cup.

Even so, Marshall and Rigg have kept the squad working hard with their regular Tuesday night fitness session and Thursday night football coaching.

“It was a bit of a shock to the system because we’d come off the back of eight undefeated games in the league,” said Rigg.

“We’re hoping to focus back on that when we go out against Longridge, to see if we can carry on that run.

“It won’t be an easy task, but we’re doing the right things. Just because they’re getting a weekend off, doesn’t mean the training stops and we’re getting ready again.”

Saturday's fixtures

North West Counties League First Division North: Holker Old Boys v Lower Breck.

West Lancashire League Division One: Askam United v Wyre Villa, Crooklands Casuals v Eagley, Hawcoat Park v Lostock St Gerard’s, Millom v Kendal County, Ulverston Rangers v Stoneclough.

West Lancashire League Division Two: Furness Cavaliers v Charnock Richard res, Furness Rovers v Longridge Town res, Garstang res v Walney Island.

Lancashire Amateur Shield second round (2pm): Fulwood Amateurs v Vickerstown.