New Assistant On The Way

Steve Parkin
The man who is likely to step in as assistant is Steve Parkin, who has previously managed Rochdale, Mansfield Town and Barnsley and has been out of work since being fired by Barnsley early last season after a poor start to the season by the Yorkshire side.

NCM reported back in November 2002 that Parkin was taking part in training sessions with The Magpies, but Dearden was quick to deny that Parkin was joining the clubs coaching team at the time.

Gary Brazil, the current assistant manager and also Director of Youth Development, will take over at the Centre of Excellence on a permanent basis with Parkin stepping in as the assistant manager.

Meanwhile, Sam McEwan, who is the spokeman for the Bhatia/Strang bid today said that they were also discussing a new contract with Magpies manager Billy Dearden.

"He (Dearden) said that the most important thing for him was stability so that is what we are trying to provide. We are negotiating a new two-year contract and an assistant manager is being brought in who will eventually take over control." McEwan told the Evening Post.

"Billy is being allowed to bring in an assistant of his choice, but it is also somebody who will take over the reins from him in the future.

"Billy's biggest wish was to be allowed to do his job properly, without any constraints, for the first time and that is our intention."
Added McEwan.

McEwan also confirmed should Bhatia and Strang take over at Meadow Lane, the players will fly out to Italy on a week long "bonding session" as well as using top class Italian facilites which Champions League finalists AC Milan and Juventus use.

"It will give the lads a chance to bond - as well as being a worthwhile exercise in terms of fitness.

"They will be training at altitude in top-class facilities, which are used by some of the top sides in Serie A.

"There will also be a behind-closed-doors match against a Serie C side, although the details of that are yet to be confirmed."
He added.