An ex-England player has been named manager of Grantham Town just weeks after he stated that he wanted to manage at non league level.
The Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit are delighted to announce the appointment of Carlton Palmer as their new first-team manager.
The Sheffield Wednesday favourite, who also managed Stockport County and Mansfield Town in the 2000s, has recently been working out in Shanghai for the past seven years as Wellington College China’s official ambassador.
Chris Woods, Paul Gascoigne,
Carlton Palmer, David Platt,
John Barnes and Nigel Clough enjoying England duty in 1993 🏴 pic.twitter.com/nu8URCtlJd
— Football Remind (@FootballRemind) May 31, 2018
The 55-year-old joins The Gingerbreads ahead of the beginning of preparations for the upcoming 2021/22 campaign after last season was once again curtailed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Palmer’s experience (in the Premier League and EFL) is known to all involved in the game with the former Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest midfielder amassing 594 appearances at club level whilst featuring 18 times at international level for England under Graham Taylor.
Management is also not an unfamiliar route, with Palmer taking the reigns as player-manager at Stockport County before a spell in charge at Mansfield Town between 2004 and 2005.
Following the news of the appointment, Grantham chairman Darren Ashton spoke of the new boss’ excitement to start and explained why he felt Palmer is the perfect man for the job.
He said: “It’s fantastic news. We’ve been working on getting Carlton in for a while now and been in constant contact with him almost daily.”
“He’s eager to get started with us. He’s been offered roles at Football League clubs, but he likes the idea that the club has.”
“He likes what we have proposed, and we like his ideas he has moving forward and has bought into the plan and is joining for the long-term.”
Palmer will not be the only new face at the club with the new man at the helm also appointing a coaching team.
Matt Chatfield joins from AFC Mansfield where he was previously the manager whilst also working at Nottingham Forest as a Foundation Phase coach. The second member of the set-up will be Jas Colliver.
A non-league journeyman, Colliver had spells as a player at the likes of Belper Town and Stocksbridge Park Steels whilst also undertaking managerial roles at sides such as Clipstone, Staveley Miners Welfare and most recently, Handsworth Paramore.
Both have been working hard alongside Palmer behind the scenes to prepare for the new season and Ashton praised the efforts of all.
“It’s already been there for a while bubbling away in the background” he said.
“We’ve got Jas doing the recruitment for new players whilst Matt has been using his contacts at Nottingham Forest to help sort out some opportunities for us as well as doing the recruitment too.”
“It’s been a massive re-structure at the club and they’re going about it differently. We’re not just chucking daft money at big-name players, they need to fit no matter how much they cost, they’ve got to fit this style of play and ethos.”
“They’re coming to watch the Under-23’s on Saturday to get a feel for knowing what they’re about as well and they are really working well to get ready for the new season.”
Ahead of the new season, which is hoping to start in August, Ashton laid out his plans and hopes for the new season.
He said: “It’s been a learning curve for us all, me included.”
“I’ve always been in and around football but never as chairman until I joined Grantham, so I definitely learnt a lot from last season and this year we’re going about it in a different way.”
“I want a feel-good factor in the dressing room and on the pitch, I want attacking, attractive football.”
“With the style of play that Carlton wants to play and the people he can call upon to help him I really think we can achieve that.”
“We also want to bring the youth through too. We’ve been churning quality players out now at our academy, but they haven’t been getting a look in whereas with Carlton and his team that is their main priority.”
PALMER’S PLAYING CAREER:
West Bromwich Albion
1984–1989 – West Bromwich Albion – 121 games (4 goals)
1989–1994 – Sheffield Wednesday – 205 games (14 goals)
1994–1997 – Leeds United – 103 games (5 goals)
1997–1999 – Southampton – 45 games (3 goals)
1999 – Nottingham Forest – 16 games (1 goal)
1999–2001 – Coventry City – 30 games (1 goal)
2000–2001 → Watford (loan) – 5 games (0 v)
2001 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 22 games (0 goals)
2001–2003 – Stockport County – 43 games (4 goals)
2004 – Dublin City
2005 – Mansfield Town
2013 – Staveley Miners Welfare
Total – 591 games (32 goals)
1989 – England U21 – 4 games (1 goal)
1989 – England B – 5 games (0 goals)
1992–1993 – England – 18 games (1 goal)
The chairman also confirmed that The Gingerbreads would return to training in the town and in a message to the fans, wanted to thank them for their patience and looks forward to welcoming them back to The Meres.
“After what happened last season there’s no pressure on us this year. I want us to get out there and enjoy it and get around the community.”
“We’re going to be back training in Grantham which means fans can turn up to come and watch, have a chat with Carlton, the players and each other and see what we have in store for next season once pre-season starts”.
“We’re doing some great things and going into next year it’s the best shape I’ve seen the club in. I know I’ve not been here a long time but I’m really excited to get next year started and showcase all this work.”
“I just want the fans to trust in me, trust in the coaching staff, trust in the players we bring in, the committee and the academy.”
“I know it has been a bit quiet of late, but we’ve been working really hard but with this appointment and update I hope it’s one that you can all get behind so that when the games do return, you are coming through the gates, buy into what we’re trying to do and continue supporting the team like you always have done.”
Welcome to The Gingerbreads Carlton, Matt and Jas!
— LEEDS UTD MEMORIES (@LUFCHistory) June 28, 2020
Fans reacted after seeing that the ex-England player has been named manager of Grantham Town…
@shellouis: Welcome @CarltonPalmer Great work @DazAsh1 let’s make this work #teamGTFC
@nig_L: Oh wow, what an appointment!! Good luck C P, show the world what can be achieved!!
@WednesdayRetro: All the best CP @CarltonPalmer
@griffiths_tom41: Great news. Will have to check out a game.
@loftytaylor: That’s a huge result 👏
@andymcelwaine: Congrats @CarltonPalmer, and welcome back to the UK!
@frazergtfc: Welcome Carlton up the gingerbreads
@PaulJacklin: Great appointment – welcome to the mighty #Gingerbreads @CarltonPalmer
@DanWestwell: Oh dear 😂
@RiotBadger: Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
@JoeBillGibbo: Just when you think our league couldn’t get more bizarre. Looking forward to seeing Carlton Palmer having a pint of Skuna when he travels to Atherton
@mallett_kieran: Prepping himself for the big job 🤣
@LiamMills92: Grantham away for pre season please
@92_jackrich: Hope he fails miserably
@Dunsbyowl: Only 20 mins away will pop along & give @CarltonPalmer a bit of support when I can ! Very best of luck CP.
@tom_rothwell36: Well.. Carlton Palmer to Grantham is an interesting appointment 🤔🤷♂️
@PeteMcKee: My new favourite second club @CarltonPalmer x
@Laura_K_Smith: @CarltonPalmer Welcome to Grantham! ⚽️🖐
@gary_k86: Go on @CarltonPalmer