NEW Holland FC assistant boss Kieron Shelley is ready and willing to learn during his time at the club.

After parting company with Harwich and Parkeston before Christmas, he was offered an immediate return route back into football as Paul Phelan’s number two at the Palmer and Partners Community Stadium.

The coastal side are fifth in Thurlow Nunn League division one south, unbeaten in three and made it back-to-back wins after stunning previous leaders Little Oakley 2-1 on Saturday.

They are still unbeaten this year, albeit having only played two games.

Shelley is grateful for the opportunity and believes he can learn from the experienced Phelan.

“Paul’s very much the manager and I’m his number two,” said the former FC Clacton boss.

“He’s someone I’ve got massive respect for.

“We were similar players and played in the same positions - full-back and holding midfield. We both worked hard and were full of running, so we’ve got the same mentality when it comes to football.

“He’s well-qualified.

“He’s also got a great track record and pedigree, having previously managed at Haringey Borough.

“I know I can learn from him and that’s what I plan to do, because you’re never the finished article.

“I’ll roll my sleeves and give all I’ve got.”

Former Holland player Shelley also had words of praise for chairman Mark Sorrell.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Mark,” he said.

“We’re similar characters and cut from the same cloth.

“Like me, he’s up front and straight-talking.

“He says what he means and when I was given this opportunity to come over, I was really happy and grateful.

“I feel lucky to get straight back into football, at the same level, and it’s an exciting club to be around.

“It’s a place close to my heart and it’s a bit nostalgic for me.

“Dave Aldred (physio and coach) is in the dugout and he was my manager here when I was 15! I’m in a happy place.”

Saturday’s result was a rare defeat for the Acorns, who led at the interval after an unfortunate own goal.

However, Holland turned the match on its head thanks to a late leveller from Matt Gray and an injury-time winner for Steve Downes.

“The players have desire, heart and hunger and that was evident again in Saturday’s game,” added Shelley, whose side host Burnham Ramblers on Saturday.

“We kept going until the last minute and there’s no better feeling than scoring a late winner like that.

“Hopefully we can go from strength to strength now.

“As a club, there’s always been something special about Holland.

“Opposition teams don’t like playing them because you know you’re always in for a tough time.

“They’ve always had a group of lads that will stick together and that unity makes them strong.

“Holland have a team packed with local players who I know well; some of whom I’ve managed before at Clacton and Harwich.

“There’s also a fantastic crop of youngsters coming through.

“I’ve been so impressed with the training sessions, in terms of quality, numbers and fitness levels.

“The club are geared towards being successful and professional and the players’ attitude has been first-class.

“I haven’t got a negative word to say and hopefully I can bring something extra to the table.”