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Skelton takes over as Queens’ number two

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By Bob Geddes
Skelton takes over as Queens' number two

FORMER Gretna star Gavin Skelton -- pictured here during his Raydale Park days -- has joined Queen of the South FC as assistant manager.

Queens boss James Fowler announced the appointment and said he was delighted to secure the services of the 34 year old.

Skelton, brother of former TV Blue Peter star Helen Skelton, has quit as manager of Workington to make the move to Palmerston after taking the Cumbrian side to the Northern Premier League playoffs.

Fowler said: ”Having made the step up to manager so quickly during last season, I wanted to take my time choosing an assistant, as I think it’s vital you find the right person.

“It has to be someone you trust and someone you know that you can rely on.”

Skelton and Fowler were team-mates at Rugby Park and Fowler added: “For me he fits that criteria. He was a model professional as a player and has an impressive record as a coach. He’s still young with fresh ideas and I believe he’ll prove to be a valuable member of my coaching team.”

Skelton started his career at his home team Carlisle United before joining Workington. He then made the move to Gretna where he spent seven years, and followed that with spells at Kilmarnock, Hamilton Accies and Barrow before returning to Workington as a player coach in 2013  before becoming manager last year.

Queens Workington chairman Glenn Heathcote earlier this week requesting permission to speak to the Reds’ player boss with a view to offering him the assistant manager’s job at Palmerston.

Permission was granted by the Workington chairman, honouring a verbal agreement by the club and Skelton, and events have moved on quickly since.

Appleby-based Skelton admitted it was a difficult decision to make but he had enjoyed his second spell at Borough Park.

His achievements over the last two seasons have been remarkable but particularly so over the past twelve months where he revived the club’s fortunes – on and off the pitch.

During the 2013-14 campaign, he played under two managers, Darren Edmondson and Ian McDonald, was temporary manager himself for two games and occasionally skippered the side.

He won the respect of his fellow professionals by being named Players ‘Player of the Year.’

Last season he played in 52 of Reds’ 56 games, scored seven goals, and was named in the Evo-Stik Premier Division ‘Team of the Year.’

He took Reds to runners-up spot in the league (before narrowly losing in the play-offs to Ilkeston) and was, unanimously, voted Workington Supporters’ Player of the Year.


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