MANAGERIAL CHANGE: Ward takes over from Mazzarella as Northern Star boss

New director of football Raff Mazzarella.

New director of football Raff Mazzarella.

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Peterborough Northern Star have appointed a new first team manager as part of some club re-structuring.

The new structure sees the creation of a director of football role to oversee all football operations across their first team, reserves and Under 18 midweek sides.

New first team manager Rob Ward.

New first team manager Rob Ward.

That job has gone to Raff Mazzarella, who was the first team manager, with Rob Ward announced as his replacement.

Ward joined the city club from Ketton FC and takes over first team affairs with immediate effect.

Ward joined Ketton FC in October 2015 after a number of years coaching and managing in Hertfordshire. He guided the team to seventh position in their first season in the Peterborough League Premier Division and repeated that feat last term.

Ward said: “I am really excited by the new opportunity that has been presented to me by the club. There is a good feel about PNS and it is certainly a club that is heading in the right direction. I can’t wait until the first pre-season training session now to roll my sleeves up and get going.”

Ward will be aided on the sidelines by Steve Wilson, who retains his role as assistant manager.

Mazzarella (38) will have a wide-ranging brief. He will help with the recruitment strategy and ensure the correct transition and pathway of youth players from Under 18 to senior level along with offering support to both first team and reserve team managers.

Mazzarella will also be manager of the Under 18 midweek side who will once again compete in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League next season.

Mazzarella said: “I am excited by the opportunity to become director of football. Once I spoke with the board to review the senior set-up at the club we agreed this makes perfect sense and knew that this was the right move for me and I am confident that we can achieve some great things in the coming years.

“I have a background in youth football and there can be a clear pathway for talented Under 18 players in the area to progress to our senior teams and taking the reins of the Under 18 midweek team will only help enhance that.”

Chairman Tony Zirpolo said: “Raff is very passionate about what we are trying to achieve at the club and it made sense for him to be promoted into this new role and oversee our senior football to ensure the correct and proper links are there between Under 18, reserves and first team. As well as senior football he has vast experience at youth level so it made perfect sense for him to manage the Under 18 midweek side as well.

“In Rob we have a highly qualified coach who has embraced this opportunity and I know cannot wait to get cracking at Step 5 football. He comes with a lot of positive comments and high regard from Ketton FC and although the UCL can be an unforgiving league I know he’s looking forward to the challenge. I’m also glad that Steve has agreed to continue as assistant to help Rob with first team matters as his work hasn’t gone unnoticed.”