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Charlie Charlesworth says opportunity to return to Elgin City put his plans to step away from football on hold

Charlie Charlesworth.
Charlie Charlesworth.

Charlie Charlesworth put on hold his plans to have a break from football when Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters came calling.

Charlesworth has been appointed as Elgin’s first team coach, in a number three role supporting manager Gavin Price and assistant Jim Weir.

It marks a return to Borough Briggs for the 59-year-old, who previously headed up City’s youth setup.

Since leaving Elgin in 2007, Charlesworth has gained vast management experience in two spells at Lossiemouth, along with Deveronvale and Huntly.

He was most recently assistant manager at junior outfit Dufftown.

Despite intending to step away from the game, Charlesworth could not resist the offer of a return to the League Two outfit.

Charlesworth said: “I was at Dufftown where we had a very good season, in the big scheme of things.

“I felt it was enough for me, having gone up to Dufftown every week, and the idea was to have a wee rest.

Charlie Charlesworth during his spell in charge of Huntly.

“I have probably had three or four rests over the piece. I keep telling people I’m retiring, but I had thought I was finishing.

“I had a few phone calls from teams in the juniors who had lost their managers, and wanted to recreate a new team.

“I turned those down straight away, but then Graham Tatters was on the phone to me asking if I would give consideration to coming back to the club.

“I have always liked it at Elgin. It’s got a nice environment and I’ve got a lot of time for the chairman.

“I said I would give it a bit of thought, and he phoned me back to ask if I would help Gavin in pre-season as they were struggling for coaches at the time.

“I didn’t have a problem doing that, and I think it was a case of getting my foot in the door before they put a net over me.”

Charlesworth to be focal point in north

The addition of locally-based Charlesworth will be of major help to Price and Weir, who both live in Perthshire.

Although youth development was the focus of his previous role at Borough Briggs, Charlesworth will primarily be tasked with first team duties.

He added: “Graham probably wanted me to go in and help with the senior youths going into the first team, but Gavin was keen for me to help him.

Elgin City assistant Jim Weir, left, with manager Gavin Price.

“I have stayed on that side of the fence, where I’m helping him, Jim Weir and the players as pretty much a number three.

“I have been away from Elgin for 15 years now and I’ve been on the Highland League circuit.

“I’m more than happy working with senior players, although I’m known for working with the youth team a few years ago.

“I suppose there is a little bit of both going on.

“The most important thing is probably the fact Gavin and Jim are both down the road. It will be difficult for them to be up here all the time, whether it’s two of them or one of them.

“That’s where they see the value, that they can get a degree of experience at training on a Tuesday and Thursday if they can’t make it, due to inclement weather in the winter for example.

“The manager and Jim have a wealth of knowledge between them.

“Coming back up a level now, it’s finer details. I have taken a bit of time just to settle in and see what they want as a management team, in terms of the training practices and these types of things.

“I think I have integrated OK. I have still been very cautious as to how much I do, but I will do whatever needs doing.”

Elgin looking to get off the mark in new campaign

City are aiming to bounce back from their opening day defeat to East Fife, when they make the trip to Stirling Albion on Saturday.

Charlesworth added: “It was a disappointing result last Saturday. I know we were all disappointed with the goals we conceded, and the opportunities we missed.

“Personally I thought there was a lot of good play in the game, particularly in the second half.

“We have had a good week’s training, and we will just go again at Stirling and hopefully get the campaign going.”

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