East Hull manager Mark Maspero hopes to attract young players who want to showcase their talents in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League.
Maspero and his assistants Marc Brown and Luke Hobson pulled off a monumental achievement in their Christmas miracle of saving Hull by putting together a brand new side for the Boxing Day trip to Winterton Rangers in the space of seven days across the festive season.
Fourteen players represented Hull in the 5-0 defeat and Maspero out-lined the recruitment strategy for the rest of the season.
“Myself and Marc Brown looked at it and thought we haven’t got a budget anyway so we’re not going to get any players who are looking to get paid so we decided we needed to look at younger players,” Maspero told Non League Yorkshire.
“Younger players who want the chance to play at this level to be able to shine.
“Obviously we can offer them a run of games.
“We were looking for players with a certain mentality of wanting to prove themselves, whether that’s the younger players who have come in from academies or the older players who have come in for one last hurrah.
“But really we are looking for young players who want to put themselves in the shop window.
“Because we can’t offer them money that’s our promise; ‘we’ll put you in the shop window and give you a run of games because if you’re good enough someone will offer you money and take you away’.”
The crisis at East Hull began when Nathan Doyle quit as manager and the players went too.
Chairman Richard Smales made a public plea for a new manager to come forward and former Sherburn White Rose boss Maspero and his assistants were duly appointed.
It was too late for the trip to Skegness Town as raising a team was just not possible in the limited time frame – despite last-ditch efforts made by Maspero.
The focus moved on to the Boxing Day game and Maspero admits getting 14 players there was a massive feat.
“It was a huge achievement playing on Boxing Day and that was our first hurdle,” he said.
“It was also about being competitive. I know we got beat 5-0 but Winterton have been putting five or six past everyone.
“We weren’t embarrassed, we were competitive so it was a huge hurdle.
“Hundreds and hundreds of texts were sent out (in the week leading up to the game) and it is still going on now.
‘Obviously we were working hard night and day to get 14 through the door for the Boxing Day and as you can imagine a few weren’t available for it as they had already made plans.
“We’ve tried to get a few more over the line and registered this week. But it was 24/7.
“Before Boxing Day we set a cut-off time on the Wednesday, primarily because that was really the hard day we could get them registered.
“On Wednesday morning we had 14 and two dropped out – one was isolating, the other got injured – so there was a slight setback and a bit of a panic.
“By mid-afternoon we had 14 registered and eager to play. It is the most bizarre Christmas I’ve had.
“The missus takes the mick out of me because I answer messages on my phone whilst at the same time when I have my iPad open talking to other people.
“I had to put my phone away over the Christmas dinner.
“On the Thursday and on Christmas Day we were on tenterhooks waiting for someone to say they couldn’t make it.
“But it is a big thumbs up to the players who came that they stayed sober and didn’t eat too much (on Christmas Day) so they could put a shift in on Boxing Day.
“The first two games (Winterton and Saturday’s game against Nostell) are and were about ‘can we get a team out and keep the club alive’?
“From there we can start training and having a look at players. We have a good team with players who are honest and hungry and we’re confident we’ll compete and it is all about the hashtag #thegreatescape.
“We’re not in a bad position. The early work was done in the league as they got a couple of wins before it all collapsed.”
Maspero’s appointment is the latest chapter in a season which has seen them leave Dunswell Park and end up ground-sharing with Goole AFC.
Chairman Mr Smales took charge of the club following the move to Goole and Maspero has been pleased with his dealing with him so far.
“He’s been superb with us,” he said.
“He was upfront and honest with us about the predicament. There’s no-ill feeling towards him as he has come in at a time when the club has been collapsing around him.
“He’s a positive person and we are and it is a chance to start again with a clean slate where we can bring in players we want and push the club on in how we feel fit.
“I don’t want to steal his thunder but he has somewhere lined up in Hull for next season and he’s shown us that he has a five-year and ten-year plan.
“He has big ambitions for the club and it starts with us keeping the team in the league.”
If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.
NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. When we properly return to ‘action’, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.
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