Former Norwich City and Cambridge United player Danny Crow explains his reasoning for taking the Harleston Town manager's job
There was a stage where lower-league management did not appeal to Danny Crow.
Having earned a living from the game as a professional player with the likes of Norwich City, Cambridge United, Peterborough United and Luton Town, the forward dropped into the non-league game in 2015.
He had spells with Lowestoft Town, AFC Sudbury, Mildenhall Town and Norwich United, but his enthusiasm waned and he ended up working as part of the backroom team at Leyton Orient.
However, as was the case for a lot of people, Covid-19 changed Crow’s perspective. He missed the game and found that he was eager to get back involved – something he has now done after being appointed the new boss of Harleston Town.
“I played at a lower level towards the end of my career but I didn’t really enjoy certain aspects of it,” said the 36-year-old. “I had the opportunity to manage back then but I didn’t have that interest in it.
“It’s no disrespect to the clubs I played for, they were all great clubs with great people, it just didn’t feel right for me.
“I was working for Leyton Orient and I loved doing that, but Covid hit and there was no money in the budget left for my role.
“Covid made me realise how much I would miss football if I wasn’t involved. I’ve done my (UEFA) A Licence and have got my coaching badges, and now just felt like the right time to get involved.”
More often than not, a new manager comes in because the previous incumbent has been unable to turn around a slump in form.
But the situation is different for Crow, who has inherited a side basking in the glory of having earned promotion to Step 5 for the first time in the club’s history.
And he also has the blessing of former boss Nicky Howell, with the pair having played together in Norwich’s youth set-up.
“I’ve spoken to Nicky a few times and he had nothing but good things to say about the club,” he added.
“And after I met the chairman (Adam Mullin), I knew I wanted the job straight away.
“I’m lucky in a lot of ways because I’m coming into a group of players that love playing for the chairman and the club.
“They’ve got a real winning mentality and have won so many games in recent years.
“I’d love them to win every game at a higher level as well, but that isn’t going to happen. But it’s about keeping standards high and I know the lads will do that.”
Like any new manager, Crow does intend to implement his own ideas going forward. Yet, in terms of player turnover, he is not plotting widespread alterations.
“I’ve spoken to most of the players now and I’ve told them that they’re in the shirt and it’s theirs to lose,” he said.
“I’ve already had lots of players get in contact about potentially coming in and there will probably be some we’ll look at in pre-season. But when I was a player and we got promoted, I always believed the players that got the team there deserved the chance to prove themselves.
“The opportunity is there for the current group. They’ve got their shirts and it’s up to them to keep them.”