FORMER Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick is ready to return to management – but insists he will wait for the right opportunity.
It’s just over 12 months since Kittrick’s memorable near six-year tenure at Nethermoor was abruptly ended when he was sacked for the first time in his managerial career and while the last year has been tough at times, the ex-Ossett Town chief has dusted himself down and is now eager to return to dug-out duties – at the right club.
Kittrick, who guided Guiseley to the Conference North play-offs for three years running and also got the Lions promoted from the UniBond Premier and lifted the UniBond Challenge Cup in six largely golden campaigns at the club, said: “Hopefully, I will get the right opportunity. But it has got to be right for me; I am not just taking anything.
“People say I need to get back into the game. But I look at someone like Gary Lowe (ex- Hyde manager), who has been out two years now and I speak to Gary and he says he has to wait for the right opportunity.
“There have been some good opportunities, One was three-and-a-half hours either way to travel, which is a long drive when you live in South Yorkshire.
“But I am more confident than I was and while you think could you have done anything better, I don’t think I could have done at Guiseley. It was just circumstances.
“The good thing is I’d like to think I am well respected in football and I go to a lot of grounds and have been well-received and speak to a lot of managers and keep in touch with people and keep my hand in.”
On the past year, he added: “The big thing is sometimes you get paranoid as you do think you have dropped off the face of the earth as your phone does not go.
“To be honest, I think in most cases, you go through a bit of a depression with it and feel a bit let down.
“But I think with my record and what I have fetched to non-league football that I will hopefully get a job shortly.”
Kittrick is the first to admit that losing his job at Guiseley represented a hefty blow, with the manner of his axing something that rankled with him.
But a year on from leaving the club, Kittrick has now moved on and is preparing to embark on his next managerial career, wherever that may be.
Looking back at his time at Guiseley, Kittrick remains justifiably proud of his record, with many of the team who played a leading role during his tenure at the club still playing influential roles this season.
Kittrick added: “You look back and I had 311 games, 179 wins, 62 draws and 70 defeats and unbeaten ratio of 78 per cent and a win rate of 58 per cent.
“I had some good times at Guiseley. When I went there, expectation wasn’t massive and in my five years there, the club went from strength to strength.
“I left the club in a lot better place than when I found it and we nearly went into the Conference three times.
“If you look at the players and the staff still there, I fetched them to the club. I’d say I introduced 80 per cent of the people still there to the club.
“(Mark) Bower and (Danny) Boshell played for me and I fetched in Martin (Stringfellow), who is coach. They will have had some good grounding in knowing what is what and I think sixty to seventy per cent of the team are still there and Josh Wilson has just gone back.
“I do think the way it was done at Guiseley was wrong and we should have sat down and talked about it.
“I still speak to some people on the committee and they agree that it was not handled correctly.
“To be fair, I feel let down by how it was done. It could have been handled a lot better from the club’s side. But you also criticise yourself and think ‘could you have done things better and differently.’
“I probably should have gone in the summer. I have had many conversations with Neil Aspin and it could have been him going.
“We pushed Halifax right to the limits (in the 2012-13 play-offs), but we lost and that is how fragile it can be. But that is football.
“It has gone now and I wish Guiseley all the best.”