FORMER Pickering Town pair Jamie Poole and Paul Roddam have taken their first steps into management.

The defenders, who made over 100 combined appearances for the Pikes, have taken the reins at Billingham Town.

Steve Connolly, who had led Billingham to an 18th placed finish in the Ebac Northern League Division Two last term, stepped down yesterday due to personal reasons, with the club announcing Poole as his successor later that evening.

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In his parting message, Connolly told the club: “I’m delighted that we could come in and ensure safety in the Northern League.

“Myself and the coaching team are very grateful for the support of the club’s committee and volunteers, and of course for efforts of all the players.”

Poole, who scored once in 56 appearances for Pickering during his season and a half stay, had been assistant manager to Tony Hackworth before departing the club in late October.

York Press: Jamie Poole in action. Jamie Poole in action. (Image: Joe Gorman)

Roddam managed the same amount of appearances, and was arguably the club’s Player of the Season in a tough 2022/23 campaign that saw them narrowly avoid relegation.

They will be joined by coach Martin Barwick in the North East, with Roddam taking on a dual player/assistant role.

“I’m happy to get my first full management job and couldn’t turn the chance down at Billingham,” Poole told his new club.

“It’s a great club and the supporters were great when I played here a few years back. Hopefully we can have a successful season and bring everyone together.”

Chairman Kevin Close added: “I’m really pleased to have have been able to bring Jamie in as first team manager.

“His wealth of experience as a player as well as recent coaching roles puts us in great stead for a successful season.

“He’s already been working very hard in bringing some exciting signings to bolster the squad and build on last year.”