New Peppermints manager aims to unlock club’s potential

New Peppermints manager aims to unlock club’s potential

New Peppermints manager aims to unlock club’s potential

Newquay’s new manager, Craig Ainslie, is welcomed back to Mount Wise by the club’s director of football, Martin Burnell

10th March 2021

By Tom Howe

Former Newquay player-coach Craig Ainslie hopes to lead the club to glory after being announced as the unanimous choice to succeed Tony Mackellar as Peppermints manager.

The ex-Newquay and Godolphin Atlantic defender takes over from his former team-mate, who has stepped down following five seasons at the helm due to work commitments.

Ainslie formed part of Mackellar’s wider management team until recently, with the club hoping his existing knowledge of the players and local area will result in a smooth transition during what can be a rocky time for any club whatever the level.

Speaking to the Voice late last week, Ainslie revealed his gratitude at being given the opportunity to lead a club with ‘a lot of potential’ and said it was up to him, plus assistant Shaun Middleton and physio Ross McOnie, to build on the solid foundations put down by his predecessor.

“Me and Macca are good friends away from football,” began Ainslie, an aircraft engineer in the Royal Air Force.

“When he was indicating he might have to move on, I had a think about it and spoke to Martin [Burnell - director of football] and the committee to say that I was interested if the role was to come available. I am really grateful for the opportunity. It is a fantastic bunch of players that we have got now, there is lots of talent in the squad and a lot of potential.

“I know that has been talked about widely by people both in the club and outside the club.

“I am really looking forward to working with Shaun and Ross, who are staying with me to help out, and looking at how we can make those tweaks to get consistency out of a squad that can undoubtedly compete at the top of the game at this level.

“That is part of the positive for the club that there is a fairly seamless transition in that respect. I have played with most of the players and coached them previously. They know what I am about and I know what they are about.

“We don’t have that strange period of a few months where we are learning each other and learning what is possible with the players and the squad that we have got.

“Hopefully we can hit the ground running and of course I will be leaning on Macca from time to time for bits and pieces.

“I think it had to be the right opportunity at the right time. If Tony had not had to leave for work reasons, I doubt very much that we would be having this conversation, even of me coming back and helping.

“The guys were doing a fantastic job.

“Obviously me and Macca are really good friends and I was just mindful as well that we didn’t want to see the fantastic work that Tony, Shaun and the rest of the club have done, in the last three, four or five seasons to get the team to where they are now, be unpicked at a really important time.”