Flanagan takes over the role vacated by Terry Hincks at the end of last season, and while he says titles don’t matter, he’s clear that he’s not a coach. His job is to be an adviser and mentor to manager Dave Wild.
“Dave’s a lad who did a bit of work for me at Curzon,” Flanagan explained. “We’re long-term friends.
“Quite a few years ago I was looking to try and get him involved at the club. Unfortunately I was never in a position where I could include him so I encouraged him to go and get some experience, which he did with Northwich Vics and Stockport Town.
“We’ve always stayed in touch and I think Dave has always seen me as a mentor. I think we both saw a situation at some point where I’d be the manager and he’d be the coach but the situation has changed.
“Dave phoned me several weeks ago, said he needed some experience, and asked if I’d consider giving him a lift. There was nothing concrete at the stage but when he got back in touch my first concern was to speak to my close friend and former Curzon assistant Ian Nevison.
“When Nev told me to get on with it I was able to join Mossley with a clear conscience.”
The Lilywhites narrowly missed out on the play-offs last year and Flanagan believes he and Wild can field a side capable of challenging for promotion to the Betvictor NPL premier division.
He sees the two of them as having the same outlook and so believes that makes them an easy fit.
Flanagan added: “I want to be involved with a team that plays the right way. I want to give my views to young players and help them to develop. I feel I can do that with Dave because, generally speaking, he embraces my philosophy.
“I’m not bothered about job titles. Dave’s the manager and he’ll make the final decisions. So long as I make a contribution and am allowed to have my say I’ll support him. I’ll give him as much advice as I can and hopefully, between us, we’ll get the team moving up the table.
“Dave’s very hungry and ambitious and wants to go on. I don’t mind him getting all the credit if I know that I’ve contributed.”
The nine months since getting the sack from Curzon proved to be a strange time for Flanagan, who has spent 50 years in football. He attempted to get back into the game by applying for four “higher level” managerial posts, but also admits that he enjoyed a close-season where he was able to relax and not face the stress of chasing players.
Yet he emphasises that his decision to join the Lilywhites was in no way motivated by a desire to thumb his nose at Curzon. Flanagan says he has nothing to prove. His record at the Tameside Stadium speaks for itself.
“You’re very quickly forgotten but I’ve got a lot of energy and ambition. I just feel that I’ve still got things to achieve in football, whether that’s promotion or a run in the FA Cup or FA Trophy. Whatever it is, I’m hungry,” he said.
“And Mossley’s right for me. I developed a deep affection for the place ten years ago when I was Chris Willcock’s assistant and then had my own spell in charge. I always told my sons I’d like to go back at some point.
“Seel Park is my favourite ground because it’s an old fashioned place and full of character. I love the passageways, the tunnel and all the other quirks.
“I’m very pleased that Dave’s asked me to join him. He had a good season last year and he’s signed some good players. It’s been a long time since Mossley had a promotion, so I’d really love for them to go up and me to be part of it.”