STUART Watkiss took the youth team for training for the first time this morning and declared: “It’s nice to be back.
“The lads have done well this morning. If it continues like that we won’t have any problems.”
The 47-year-old arrives at the club after a spell as assistant manager at Stockport County and after a successful spell as development coach at Hull City.
But after more than a year out of the game, the former Mansfield and Barnsley Youth-team coach says it is great to be back involved.
“Even after I left really, and because I still live in Grimsby, I am still looking at the results to see how they are doing,” he said.
“I’ve been to quite a few matches here last season. I’ve been looking forwarded to meeting the youngsters and getting to work with them on the training field.
“I get great satisfaction from working with the young players and trying to develop them.
“I will now be looking at the youth set up and looking at ways to hopefully improve it.
“It’s obviously going to take me time to settle in and see how it all operates though.“
"Adam (Smith), Lamby (Alan Lamb), Oliver Cowling and the club deserve great credit for keeping the Youth system going - especially after losing league status.
"With a lot of clubs the first thing to go is the Youth system because the league funding goes down for a couple of years and then stops.
"The fact that everyone involved has kept that going is great testament to the people involved."
Stuart’s first game in charge will be on Thursday night when the Town youth team face North Ferriby United in a FA Youth Cup First Qualifying Round game at Blundell Park (7pm).