Bamber Bridge ace Alistair Waddecar reckons boss Neil Reynolds has not changed one bit since taking over the reins at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
The pair have known each for many years – ever since Waddecar broke into the first-team squad at Brig as a teenager around 2009/10.
Back then, Reynolds was one of the seasoned campaigners of the team heading towards the back end of his playing career.
As Waddecar began to blossom into one of the club’s best players, Reynolds moved on to the coaching staff at Irongate, firstly as a player-coach under Tony Greenwood and then as Neil Crowe’s assistant.
After seven years by Crowe’s side, Reynolds became the club’s new manager in December of last year.
He has since presided over a great period in the club’s history – guiding the club to their first piece of silverware in over a decade by winning the NPL League Cup last season.
And this term, they sit proudly on top of the NPL First Division North after a great start to the season which has seen them win nine and lose only one of their opening 13 league games. Waddecar revealed one of Reynolds’ greatest strengths was his ability to remain one of the lads, while at the same time commanding the respect of his team.
“I go back a long way with him,” said Waddecar. “I remember when I used to play in the same team as him at Bamber Bridge.
“Then he became assistant manager and now he’s manager, but he’s not changed since he became manager – he’s just the same. He’s still one of the lads.
“But he’s great to play for – I don’t really know what it is, it’s just everything about it. He just knows what he’s doing, he knows the league and his enthusiasm and professionalism rubs off.”
Waddecar admits confidence is sky high among the squad currently – they have won 10 and drawn two of their last 12 games in all competitions.
On Tuesday night, they defeated Prescot Cables 4-1 in the first round of the League Cup, although Saturday was a slight blot on the copybook as they let slip a 2-0 lead against Mossley to only draw.
“We are flying at the moment,” Waddecar said.
“It’s amazing when you get on one of these winning runs.
“Confidence is high and you just think you are going to win every game.
“Saturday was a bit of a blow being 2-0 up – that felt like a defeat.”
This weekend, Brig travel to Ossett Town and Waddecar is expecting nothing less than a win.
“We are expecting to go there and get the win, although it’s not the nicest of places to go to,” he said.
Elsewhere, Kendal Town host Scarborough Athletic and Clitheroe are away to Prescot.