PRESTATYN Town manager John Lawless has vowed to “give everything he’s got” to the role after replacing Neil Gibson.

The former TNS, Colwyn Bay and Aberystwyth Town player stepped into the breach at the JD Cymru North champions after Gibson’s shock resignation, which also saw most of their title-winning squad leave for pastures new.

Lawless spoke to The Journal this weekend, outlining his plans for the club going forward that includes building around a squad of local players should the opportunity arise.

He said: “At the end of the day I took the job when the majority of last season’s squad had left. But if they’d stayed after winning the league there wouldn’t be a lot to change.

“I would have been mad to change things around, but now I find myself in a catch-22 situation. Do I bring in local players who aren’t good enough? Or get a squad together who are capable of challenging for promotion?

“The notion I’m just going to bring 16 scousers down every week is not what I want to do. That’s why I outlined my desire to keep a local coach (Ryan Turner) on the staff, who knows local talent, the youth system and the club inside-out.

“I was in a similar situation at Aberystwyth where there were players from the Liverpool area coming down to play alongside a core of Welsh lads who were the heartbeat of the club. I want to do the same at Prestatyn but ultimately the players have to be good enough and it seems the best local talent has already left.”

Lawless had spoken to “a few” clubs in England before hearing of the Prestatyn vacancy. After sitting down with chairman Jamie Welsh and speaking to his various contacts within the domestic game, he decided to take on the role.

The new boss is under no illusions as to the task awaiting him. Lawless and Gibson played together at Aber and will now look to fill some “enormous shoes”.

“This is a job I’m going into with my eyes wide open,” added Lawless.

“Everyone knows the great job Gibbo’s done at the club. He’s done a fantastic job and although he leaves big shoes to fill, I am more than up for the challenge.

“I’ll have to sit down with Jamie and see if there are any players from last year who haven’t found clubs yet who might come back, which is something I’d be foolish not to do.

“I’ll put everything into it and get a team on the pitch that has the talent to get promoted. I like to play on the floor, with a high press and entertain, so the message I would have to the fans is give me a chance and I think you’ll enjoy watching us play.

“It’s not my business to know what’s gone on between Gibbo and the club. As I said before he was great when we played together at Aber and my job now is to carry on his fantastic work.”

Lawless also added the recent discussions surrounding an incident at Marine were “false” and he was subsequently found not guilty by the Football Association after parting ways with the club who “didn’t back” him at the time.

His immediate task will be to put together a squad that has been decimated by recent departures. This has been made all the more difficult by the current state of affairs for every club below Tier 2, who hasn’t kicked a competitive ball since March.

He said: “I have spoke to plenty of contacts within the game in Wales and in the North West, but it’s hard to offer lads football when we don’t have a start date for playing.

“Hopefully discussions can start again in mid-December ahead of the January transfer window, where we should hopefully know more about when things can begin.”