WHEN Andy Clarkson was appointed as Barnoldswick Town manager last week it was received well with people glad to see the North West Counties veteran return to the game after a year out.

Although, Clarkson has revealed to the Craven Herald that he not only took the gig to get back involved at this level, but to achieve promotion.

Barlick have had a torrid time of late, looking dangerous down at the drop zone before last season was curtailed and sitting second bottom in the Premier Division this term.

Clarkson, who has managed league rivals Squires Gate in the past, was eyeing up the job before Endrit Shehu took it last October.

When hearing news of the young manager's resignation, he pounced and did enough to impress Town's committee in his interview for them to hand him the position.

Speaking on why he took the role and his targets for the future, Clarkson said: "I have a business in Nelson which is getting stronger, so I am less worried about that.

"My son is now 20 so he doesn’t need me so much for his football.

"Therefore, I have got a lot of time on my hands at the weekends especially.

"I looked at Barnoldswick and though you know what I fancy that.

"Barnoldswick is a good size club with a good committee.

"The town around it has always had good support when they are doing well. I always thought they have got a lot of potential.

"I have got the enthusiasm and desire myself and belief in my own ability to man manage the current players, and hopefully give them the enthusiasm to play to their full potential.

"Not just the current squad, I can bring in one or two fresh faces, and an assistant player manager who has got a lot of contacts throughout non-league.

"I think we can turn the results around. It is not going to happen overnight, it is a long term project.

"If you look at the league a lot have teams have played six games and the current leaders have 13 points so my target is to pick up wins, finish in the top 10, and push on for promotion the season after."

With grassroots football locked down until December 2, Clarkson has not even been able to meet his new squad since coming in.

The lack of match sharpness is expected to hinder every team after the one month lay-off.

But the former Bradford City and Accrington Stanley player, who was forced to retire at 28 through injury, is keen to stress the importance of fitness.

He added: "It has been massively frustrating.

"Next Thursday we are set for our first training session and hopefully we can put a formation together and give it a good go on the Saturday against Northwich Victoria.

"I am massive on fitness. I think the fitter we are, the more successful we will be.

"At this level most teams are pretty level ability wise but the fitter teams generally finish in the top six."