NEWLY appointed Bradford (Park Avenue) boss, Danny Whitaker is chomping at the bit to get going and believes everyone at the Horsfall will be getting the best version of himself.

It was a long process, but Avenue finally have their man and it comes in the form of a young and hungry manager, who is eager to flip the club’s fortunes on its head.

The Bradford side find themselves labouring in 18th in the Northern Premier League, but former Macclesfield Town man, Whitaker is eager to help his side climb up the table.

Speaking to the club’s official website on arrival, the newly appointed boss, said: “I couldn’t be happier to be here, to be honest. It’s been a long time coming for me to get back into the dugout, but with the football industry being how it is, it’s never easy (to find work), so I’m very happy to be here.”

Whitaker takes charge of his first Avenue game this Saturday as the Bradford side host Bamber Bridge at the Horsfall Stadium, and they’re chasing two consecutive league victories in the process.

After being away from the dugout for just over a year, the newly appointed manager admitted that he’s itching to get going again.

He said: “I honestly can’t wait. When I left Macclesfield, it was obviously under different circumstances; we were top of the league and doing very, very well. Things don’t always go how you want them to, so I had to go away, lick my wounds and look at certain things I can get better at because I’m only young myself (43).

“I’m a far better person, manager and coach after what has happened, that’s for sure, so Bradford are getting a better version of myself already.”

Not only will Whitaker be overseeing first team proceedings, but he’ll be also heavily involved with the youth program and will look to create a clear pathway for Avenue’s Academy stars into the first team.

The new boss admitted: “My main priority is the first team, of course, because we’ve got a big job to do there, but from what I saw on Saturday (against Macclesfield), there’s loads to work with and I’m more than confident that I can do a good job at getting the points on the board, while getting the team where I want it to be.

“I’ll also be heavily involved behind the scenes with coaching the academy and coaching within that set-up on a daily basis, which is similar to what I’ve been doing at Macclesfield in my previous job, so it’s nothing new.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lewis Hey (second left) gets mobbed by his team-mates after scoring with a stunning free-kick at MacclesfieldLewis Hey (second left) gets mobbed by his team-mates after scoring with a stunning free-kick at Macclesfield (Image: John Rhodes)

Giving his thoughts on the first team and the players he’ll be working with, Whitaker said: “I’m really pleased with the group I have, particularly with what I saw on Saturday; there’s clearly a lot to work with.

“Going into a new environment, you want players you can work with and you don’t want it to be a complete rebuild job. However, from what I saw on Saturday the lads have a got a lot to offer, and based on that, they shouldn’t be in the position they are in, but they are, so it’s our job as coaching staff to put our stamp on the team and get them climbing up the table.”

Whitaker is somewhat of a legend at his local team, Macclesfield Town, having played just shy of 400 matches for the club over two spells, while he also was the first ever manager to take over the reins at the newly formed Macclesfield FC in 2020.

Reflecting on his time there, he said: “They’re my local team and I started my career there, which feels like a long, long time ago now. I spent five years in the Football League there; went onto Port Vale, Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield, then subsequently returned to Macclesfield where we did the unthinkable, which was getting the club promoted back to the Football League from the National League on a very low budget.

“Of course, I was named the first manager of the newly formed Macclesfield FC, too, so that’s where my legendary status at the club comes from. However, I’m onto pastures new now and I’m ready to go.”