The former Wales international, who took over at Stalybridge Celtic in midweek, wants the club to dwell less on past successes that took it into the old Conference, and more on how it can be a competitive outfit in the Evo-stik NPL premier division.
“Last year the club got average results for not average money. Now it’s going to cut its coat according to its cloth, which I think is the sensible thing to do,” Haworth explained.
“Stalybridge Celtic should be at a higher level, but it’s all very well having a great history. What we have to do is deal with the here-and-now.
“There will be no quick fix. First and foremost we need to bring in people who want to play, and who want to play the right way. We need to take the right steps, whether they are big or small, and stop the rot.
“We’re going to take the shackles off a little bit. Then it will be about building a structure that can stay in place.”
Haworth faces a formidable task. Including the Paul Phillips-Steve Halford partnership, he is the tenth man to manage Celtic since 2003 when Dave Miller led them to their last trophy, the NPL President’s Cup. Established names like Steve Burr, Jim Harvey and Liam Watson have all found silverware and league success elusive.
Even so, Haworth, who was at Clitheroe last season, insists he is delighted to have a job that has proved so difficult for so many others.
“I gave Jim Harvey a hand a few years ago, when Stalybridge were in National League North, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the people and thought it was a really good football club, run really well. I think the same now,” the new manager commented.
“When the chance came up to go and have a chat I was thrilled. I didn’t think I’d get the job but luckily I was offered the position.”
Twelve months ago there was talk of the Bridge bouncing straight back to National League North, but the situation is much calmer now. More realistic if you like. Haworth says the directors have imposed no targets on him and his intention is to build a winning mentality, then watch it gradually bear fruit.
“I want us to play exciting football with pace. I want to get a team that has a bit of swagger. If I can do that, if I can get everybody together listening to what I say, and get them supporting it, then who knows where we can go.
“My plan is to speak to all the current players and I’m hoping to find some strong characters who feel they owe it to themselves and to the club to be part of what I’m building. But I know footballers — I used to be one — so I suppose there will be players exiting.
“If the lads want to be part of this I want them on board. If they decide to try and keep me waiting until the end of July while they look around for better deals, then they’ll find they’ve been replaced.
“I also want a good relationship with the fans and I intend to hold regular forums so that they can ask me questions. They’ll find me to be an honest man. Sometimes brutally honest.”
Bower Fold chairman Rob Gorski added: “Stalybridge Celtic are seen as a big club but look around and non-league football has changed. Curzon Ashton are above us, Ashton United — where Jody Banim has done a phenomenal job — are also in National League North, and Hyde United have been promoted as well.
“What all three have is a financial structure that supports their future, be that an academy, a 3G pitch or social facilities. You have to have that structure to go forward.
“Simon Haworth left Clitheroe because the club didn’t match his ambition. I hope that everyone at Bower Fold, as well as the players he brings in, all want to progress like I want to progress.
“In his interview, Simon came across as intelligent and articulate. He knows the game inside out and all the people there were bowled over by him, but for me his greatest quality was his ambition. That’s the thing that attracted me to him.
“He wants young, hungry people, not people on their way down. As a board, we were all very excited.”