IN this new series, the Gazette & Herald is taking a closer look at teams of the Beckett Football League.

This week we are featuring first division side Thornton-le-Dale, whose manager’s penchant for long coats has earned him comparisons with a former Premier League boss.

Tell us a bit about your club.

Thornton-le-Dale was founded in 1904 and has been at the heart of the community ever since.

Players are part of the background staff - our captain Tim Hunt is the club’s secretary, long-serving midfielder Ryan Boyes is chairman and club legend Jeff Quilter is our treasurer.

People come for the football but stay for the enjoyment of being part of this great club.

How is your season going?

The season is going well for us. We are enjoying some great cup runs and are bouncing back in the league after a shaky start to the season. Commitment this year is at an all-time high, with everyone enjoying their football and giving their all in every game.

And your most recent match?

Our last game was a crazy cup game against West Pier. We were 4-1 down at half-time and the boys fought hard for a 4-4 draw. We progressed into the next round through a penalty shoot-out.

What are your ambitions for the rest of the season?

Our season to date has been a shaky one, with so many ups and downs. We started the season unbeaten in pre-season and came close to winning the pre-season cup, but then lost our first five games of the season.

The players bucked up their ideas and we got our first win away at Ryedale, bringing back a club legend of Dan Greaves into the fold.

The boys continued to perform well and started to achieve some good results, most notably a big win against Sleights.

We have won our last two games and the lads are raring to get the season back underway.

Our ambitions for the rest of the season are to win at least one cup and finish in the top four.

Tell us about your manager.

The manager is an ex-Thornton player, Rob Preston, who sadly can’t play any longer due to an ongoing heart condition. However, his love for Thornton never left and was made manager three years ago - and what a three years it’s been!

First season, there were big question marks over the appointment, but the haters were soon silenced with Thornton ending the season with a cup win and their first trophy in many years.

He suddenly became a club favourite and managed to bring in some past talent, such as Tom Chamberlain (ex-Leeds) and Joe Dunnett (ex-Pickering).

When winter comes and the long coat comes out, whispers have gone around the club about his nickname ‘the young Arsene Wenger’.

Who has scored your best goal so far this season?

The best goal this season was scored by Joe Dunnett with a cracking free kick against Sherburn from 30-plus yards out.

Who is your most skilful player?

Myles Dale, nicknamed ‘PVA plodders’ as the ball never leaves his feet and he can’t be dispossessed.

Who’s the most valuable player in the squad?

This is between two players.

Harry Kenworthy is a future Thornton-le-Dale captain, he’s a leader and a rock at the back. You could play him in any position, and you know he’ll be the best player on that pitch.

Ryan Boyes is a club legend and midfield journeyman. He plays the simple game and keeps the lads level-headed when our superstars get a bit mouthy. It wouldn’t be the same club without him involved in all the aspects - a true clubman.

Who’s the toughest player in the squad?

Mikey Scott, the English Kieran Tierney. He’s always sticking up for his team-mates and laying into the opposition when he gets a chance. He may look all small and cute, but he’ll easily command his left-hand side and make sure he has the last word - a true Thornton warrior.

Who’s the best young player in the squad?

Josh Mann. It’s like he has been at this club for years, but he only started playing for us this season. Great on the ball and doesn’t shy away from a tackle, he will hopefully be a key player for years to come.