Dan aims to be the man at Long Buckby

TAKING A BREAK - former Long Buckby boss Phil Mason
TAKING A BREAK - former Long Buckby boss Phil Mason

Dan Stewart is bidding to better Phil Mason’s achievements at Long Buckby - and will use all he learned from his old boss to do it.

Stewart was Mason’s assistant at Station Road last season, with the Bucks finishing second from bottom in the UCL Premier Division.

A six-point deduction and a limited budget made it difficult for the managerial duo, who accrued seven wins from 36 league games.

But Stewart, who has reshaped the squad with numerous players he has played with or against, is hoping for a better return this time round.

And he will continue to draw on Mason’s wisdom, should he feel it necessary during the course of the campaign.

“Last season was a difficult one with the six-point deduction and only having a couple of weeks to get a squad together before it started,” said Stewart.

“But we can now use last year as a target and look to finish higher and with more points than we did then.

“We’ve got to take baby steps and I’m still in contact with Phil, who is always more than happy to help me.

“He’s been taking a bit of a break from the game, but he has given me advice on tactics and approaching players.

“I’ve got a lot of friends in football and they have been great in helping me out.”

Stewart is hoping to be able to play some part on the pitch as well as off it as he continues to recover from rupturing his knee ligaments.

That injury came on the back of breaking his ankle, meaning Stewart has been out for almost three years, but he is staying positive.

“Because I couldn’t play, I wanted to go into management and that is what I’m concentrating on now,” he said.

“I’m just taking my time and hopefully I’ll be able to play again soon.”