KEVIN Watkin is in no doubt the strong connection he and his management team have to Holker Old Boys is proving hugely beneficial to the younger members of the squad.

The long-serving midfielder was appointed as Holker’s player-manager in October following Guy Heffernan’s departure, with club stalwarts Paul Southward, Glyn Dixon and Sean Mellen assisting him on the sidelines.

There are arguably few people who know the ins and the outs of the Rakesmoor Lane outfit better than the quartet, and Watkin believes that intimate knowledge is coming is useful as the first-team try to climb out of the North West Counties League First Division North bottom two.

“The first, reserve and A squads are quite young and the youth are becoming more prominent, and I think having that wealth of experience, knowledge of the club and pride in playing for the club, it gives the lads something,” said Watkin.

“I think the lads have that little bit more respect knowing you’ve been where they are and you’ve done it and represented the club.

“When you look at the number of appearances Glyn has made and the goal-scoring record Paul has got, people look up to them and think they’re role models.

“It’s a little bit of an aspiration to get there and it’s had a good impact on them, and I think they appreciate we understand the difficult period they’re in and we’ve probably been through them and can offer that experience as well though.”

Because Watkin is continuing to play, Southward, Dixon and Mellen oversee training while he joins in with the Holker squad, while the four have combined to do many of the behind-the-scenes jobs too.

Watkin is grateful for the support of club secretary Rachel Cox when it comes to the administrative side too and concedes it would be a near-impossible job without all of their help.

Nevertheless, he is enjoying his first steps in management and is well aware Holker could start swiftly moving up the table if they can string some results together.

That starts tomorrow when Bacup Borough visit for Holker’s first home game since October 20.

“I’ve forgotten what home looks like, it’s been that long,” joked Watkin. “It will be very nice to get Bacup to come here and try to start to pick up results.

“I think being at home helps, so it would be nice to get a good, positive result and take that into the two before Christmas.

“There are four, five or six teams all within touching distance of each other and if you put a few wins together, you’re in a completely different situation.”