Oakham United hope ‘Biggsy’ can repeat title-winning trick

Oakham United first team manager Wayne Oldaker welcoming new assistant manger Andrew Bailey
Oakham United first team manager Wayne Oldaker welcoming new assistant manger Andrew Bailey

Oakham United have signed a new assistant manager who has previously won the PDFL Premier title.

Oakham have signed former Deeping Rangers centre half Andrew ‘Biggsy’ Bailey as first team assistant coach.

Bailey has been brought in to help shore up the defence at the side lying fourth from bottom in the Premier Division.

Bailey spent the majority of his playing career at Deeping Rangers before moving and winning the Premier title with Ramsey Town as player and assistant manager in 2011.

Oakham first team manager Wayne Oldaker, who played with Bailey at Deeping, said: “It is what I have wanted to happen for a long time but he has had work commitments.

“He will bring a hell of a lot to the table.

“He is extremely organised and he loves his stats and will bring an even bigger professional attitude to the club. He will definitely improve us.”

One of the things that excites Oldaker is Bailey’s track record of success as a manager.

He said: “In his first season at Ramsey he helped take a bottom four club and get them into the top eight. The next year they won the title.

“He was a major factor in winning the Peterborough Prem title.”

Bailey was introduced to the players at training last Thursday. He was due to be in the dugout with Oakham on Saturday but their league match away to Whittlesey Blue Star was a victim of the wet weather.

Instead Oldaker and Bailey watched this week’s opponents, top of the table Netherton United, demolish Crowland Town 10-0.

Oldaker said his side have a tough task ahead of them this weekend.

He said: “It might be a bit of a reality check on Saturday but you can get positives out of everything.

“Netherton are an extremely strong side. They would not look out of place in the UCL.”

But Oldaker will not be travelling to Netherton without hope of getting something.

He said: “If we can keep our house in order and the players put in a decent performance then you never know what might happen.”

And Oakham could receive a major boost with the return of two key players from injury.

Michael Nelson, who has been out for seven weeks with a fractured rib, and Jamie Forbes, who has missed 11 weeks with an ankle ligament injury, are both near returning.

Both men will undergo fitness tests ahead of selection for Saturday’s match.

Oldaker said: “They have both got a lot of pedigree and they are a massive part of the jigsaw.

“But we have got some talented players down here at Oakham and I am lucky to be able to select from a strong squad. I am not going to rush them back if they are not ready.”