Paul Quinn is loving every second of working as assistant manager to Andy Welsh at Ossett United.
The pair are heading into their second campaign together in the Ingfield dugout after guiding United to the BetVictor North play-offs and a West Riding County Cup triumph last season.
Quinn is best known for his memorable six-year stint in charge of Brighouse Town and his appointment as Welsh’s number two last year was a surprise to many.
Quinn admits himself that becoming an assistant was a career move he had not expected, but he is glad he accepted the role which came a few months after he was sacked from Shaw Lane AFC.
“No I never thought that was it (after leaving Shaw Lane), I was just waiting for the right opportunity to come up,” Quinn told Non League Yorkshire.
“I didn’t want to go back into management at a normal club. Ossett having 400 supporters was one of the attractions. It isn’t a normal club at this level. I also liked that it was two clubs coming together. The club being a new club stood out.
“There was also a bit of nostalgia as my dad (Gerry) used to be the manager of Ossett Albion. I wanted something new and different. It was a bit left-field, I didn’t expect the opportunity to be an assistant and it wasn’t really on my radar.
“But I’ve not looked back since and I’ve enjoyed the role and working with Andy.
“Maybe I will become a manager in my own right again, but there’s a lot of potential here and I’m more than happy working alongside Andy.
“We’ve got a project here. We want to accomplish something here. I thought we had a great season here last season under the circumstances and we want to have another good season.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. I spoke to Andy a couple of months before I took the job and we sat down and discussed things and it just seemed like the right move for me.”
Quinn also agrees that it was initially difficult to adjust to being an assistant, having spent the best part of seven years being the man at the helm.
“I’ve had to adapt in the way I go about things and it has taken time to learn how to be an assistant,” he said.
“The first eight or nine weeks was about getting to know how each other worked. The critical thing for myself and Andy were making sure our philosophies were aligned and were on the same hymn sheet.
“Me coming from a management position, I was always calling the final decision. Obviously Andy has given me license to make decisions at times, but the final decisions ultimately lies with him.
“From his playing experience, I’ve learnt a lot from him and I’d like to think he’s picked things up from me in terms of my experience in the game.
“It has been really good for us both. I think that was what he was looking for, someone who had been around the game in a manager’s position for a little bit longer.”
Quinn remains a legend at Brighouse. His dad Gerry took Emley to the Wembley in the 1980s and had success there and at various clubs and Quinn junior took his first steps into management in 2011 six games into the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division campaign with Brighouse.
He led them to the title in 2014 and oversaw several solid seasons in the NPL before standing down in May 2017.
He said: “It was the right time to leave.
“I loved my time there and I’ve got fond memories of what we achieved. It was the right thing to do to step away and let someone have a fresh go at it.
“They’ve gone and done really well. When I stepped down I knew the team needed rebuilding and that’s what was going through my mind.
“Sometimes you have to make a decision at a club as to when you have done enough and I felt I had given everything to that club. We had brought them up from the bottom of the NCEL to winning promotion on a shoestring budget, then building things up financially over time.
“I felt it needed fresh impetus. Myself and Charlie Tolley (then-chairman) sat down and I just said ‘I think it needs freshening up’. I’m really pleased I made that decision.”
In the meantime he accepted a full-time job with the FA before landing the manager’s position at ambitious NPL Premier Division outfit Shaw Lane AFC towards the end of 2017.
Quinn spent five months in Barnsley before he was sacked with two months of the season remaining and he admits that it was a tough time.
Shaw Lane ultimately folded at the end of the season due to off-the-field issues.
“It was a fantastic experience and I appreciated the opportunity the chairman (Craig Wood) gave me,” he said.
“I went into a club midway through the season, a club which had just been to the first round of the FA Cup with a great calibre of players.
“A lot of things went on behind the scenes what people don’t know about, as there does at all clubs.
“Things happened over the Christmas where we lost a couple of key players in Ryan Qualter and Jon Stewart. We didn’t want to lose them, but they followed Craig (Elliott) to Boston.
“There was a little bit of uncertainty, but results were good. Unfortunately we had a long period of time where we didn’t play, the pitch wasn’t in a fit state. We probably had six weeks where we didn’t have a game or very few games.
“Then in seven days, we lost four games back-to-back and the chairman decided to go separate ways.
“I didn’t agree with the decision because I felt 100% we would get into the play-offs. I felt we were building something and we had talked about plans long-term. I’m not short-sighted, yes, results weren’t great that week, but there were things that needed to be done in pre-season on-and-off-the-pitch.
“There were issues at the club and those things manifested into what eventually happened to Shaw Lane. I didn’t want those things to happen to Shaw Lane, but I could see what was on the cards.”
His departure from Shaw Lane hurt, but Quinn looks back on it as a worthwhile “experience”.
He said: “Did I take it badly? My pride took a dent, definitely.
“I had 48 hours where I went through everything I had ever done in football and scrutinised it.
“The overriding emotion in my mind was that this was going to be a fantastic experience for me as an individual.
“My dad actually said ‘congratulations’ when I rang him. He said: ‘you’re a football manager now’. That was an interesting comment.
“The experience was brilliant and I look back it and think it has stood me in good stead.”