Former Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Notts County and Torquay United striker Duane Darby is the new manager of BetVictor Southern League strugglers Redditch United.
The 46-year-old ex-Cradley and Bromsgrove Rovers boss, pictured, was appointed on Wednesday, 24 hours after the departure of his predecessor Ian King from the Trico Stadium.
— Redditch United (@RedditchUtd) November 26, 2019
The Birmingham-born hot-shot notched up more than 400 appearances and more than 100 goals in the Football League. Famously, he scored six goals for Hull in FA Cup tie against Whitby 20 years ago.
In Non-League, Darby helped Rushden & Diamonds become Conference champions and Shrewsbury earn promotion to the Football League via the play-offs.
He also turned out for a number of other clubs including Evesham, Hednesford Town, Alvechurch and Nuneaton Borough.
Darby takes charge of a Reds side sitting second from bottom in Southern League Division One Central Division for the first time at Peterborough Sports on Saturday.
He told the club’s website: “I am really looking forward to the challenge. We have a plan to get this club moving forward again and this will see us engage more with the fans to create a style of football that they want to see and put some much-needed points on the board.
“We’re very aware of the talent within the current squad, our league position could have been very different had some of the narrow results swung our way.
“We’ve identified a handful of new players we’d like to speak to over the next week and the Reds fans should be seeing some exciting new additions announced very soon.
“I am keen to work as a manager not just with the first team, but to help the whole club develop. I am very eager to engage with the club’s academy and a reserve set up to develop players from within the club. This is exactly what a club like ours should be doing”.
Redditch chairman Chris Swan: “I am very excited to announce Duane as our new manager. When we met it was clear that Duane had a drive and passion that will be infectious to us all.
“At this point in the season, we now need to fight for every point and I am very confident Duane can set our dressing room up to push us higher up in the league over the coming months.”
King was thanked for his work in a short statement on Tuesday announcing his departure with immediate effect.
“The club would like to place on record its appreciation of all of Ian’s efforts and wishes him very well for the future,” said United.
Former Redditch player King was appointed in May as the successor to Paul Smith after spending several years at Birmingham City and Northampton Town and Leamington and Daventry Town in Non-League.
He will also will continue in his current role with the Football League and currently coaches at Northampton Town with players within the professional development phase.
Images courtesy of rufcofficial.co.uk & @RedditchUtd/Twitter