DANNY Pattinson believes the hard work and consistency that was key for his Millom side's success last season will be crucial again in the new West Lancs campaign.

Millom wrapped up promotion from Division Two and the Furness Senior Cup in Pattinson's first season as a manager.

Now Pattinson is back as player/coach, having decided to take the up the role after the club were left without a manager for the upcoming campaign.

He feels the job has come “four to five years too early”, but was not willing to see the team go without a manager and grasped the opportunity once more.

The ex-Holker Old Boys man did not let down his hometown club last season, as he mixed youth with experience to help gain the right balance.

But he is not looking back on his successes but instead is preparing for life in West Lancs Division One – though his own playing time has been limited to start with after injury sidelined him for the fist six to eight weeks of the campaign.

Looking on training so far, ahead of next weekend's season-opener, he said: “It has been hard, with people being away and other sports still going on, but it allows me to look at others and it gives them the chance to impress.

“I'm excited to get going again and really looking forward to us challenging ourselves against new opponents.

“I believe we are capable of having another good season if we continue like last year, but we need to stay grounded and keep up the hard work which has allowed us to get us where we are now.”

The solidity of the defence made up of Otis Holliday, Chris O'Brien and Jordan Williams was key for Millom last year, but Pattinson also highlighted the goal-scoring of Phil Edmondson and Carl Waters.

They were just five men among many as the whole squad had a great season in the manager's eyes, and he feels if they continue to apply themselves they could be challenging again this season.

Pattinson's sidelining through injury means he is able to give younger players he chance to come through and take his place so he can focus on coaching the team from the sidelines.

Millom will come up against South Cumbrian rivals Crooklands Casuals, Askam United, Hawcoat Park and GSK Ulverston Rangers, all in the first month of the season.

They start at home to Wyre Villa on Saturday, August 4 (3pm kick-off).