MARCUS McDonald and Nigel Birch have been appointed as the new joint-managers Cradley Town.

McDonald returns to the West Midlands League club having previously managed them in 2007, while Birch has experience at both Hednesford Town and Chasetown. The two have worked together before when managing Solihull-based Highgate United.

Former Hammers player Ian Broad has also joined the club as first-team coach from Black Country Rangers.

McDonald said: “Me and Nigel hit it off so to speak and have the views on how we want the game to be played.

“We have more than just the manager’s role at Cradley to fill I needed someone in I could trust and Nigel fits the bill.”

McDonald was originally appointed last week after the shock departure of Duane Darby to Bromsgrove Sporting.

He says he has been left with a decent squad and will give them the opportunity to impress while also looking to add a few new faces.

“Trevor (Thomas, chairman) contacted me when the news broke that Duane Darby had left the club and simply asked if I had still got the drive and passion to get back into management and if so it’s the right time to come back.

“That weekend we had a really constructive meeting — no stone was left unturned and within two hours we had agreed on several actions which allowed me total control of the footballing side of the club combined with managing the first team.

“It wasn’t enough just to come back and manage Cradley again, I needed Trevor to believe in my vision for the club and let me put a process in place.

“It’s going to be a big job here at Cradley, they say you should never go back but I have a good feeling, the committee have done everything I have asked so far but it’s going to be work in progress.”

“I've been out of the game since I left Highgate United a couple of seasons ago and since then I've been scouting for Kettering and then Tamworth while taking in a lot of games from various levels of the pyramid which has helped me improve my knowledge of the game.

“It gave me a better insight into how other clubs are run and this has allowed me to consider a vision for Cradley Town.

"I intend to work closely with the U16 and Youth teams now under the Cradley portfolio in addition to the 1st team and bring all three teams closer together.

“In addition, also linking up with a local College and Redditch United with former Hammers captain and brother Liam McDonald now manager of the Southern Premier outfit.

“I do see these links as key in Cradley's future progression in keeping the young talent i'll be hoping to nurture at the club.

"With the break from managing a football team I come back full of enthusiasm and a lot wiser, i'll set about improving the club set up in a more professional manner on and off the pitch.

“Trevor has done a fantastic job preserving the longevity of Cradley in his time at the club, especially when there's an endless list of black country clubs who have gone by the way side and consigned to the history books it's good to see that the club have added a few more people to the committee.

“The club needs a change of mindset, a winning mentality on and off the park, we will have a philosophy of how I want the game to be played and a ethos of how the club will go forward.

“After the meeting with Trevor , I went straight to the ground and listed a series of jobs that needed doing at the club within an hour, that's the mindset that the club must embrace because that's what will be demanded from now on.

“I want the players we bring in to play and train in a professional clean environment and the supporters who are the lifeline of the club deserves a home to be proud of in the long term.

“Duane had a fantastic finish to the season which saw the Hammers undefeated in there last ten matches so there is obviously strong foundations on the park to work with from last season.

“I shall speak to the lads and gauge their thoughts while letting them know what I'm all about and what i'm also looking for off them."