FORMER Tranent Juniors manager Gary Small has taken over at a Lowland League club, some seven months after leaving Foresters Park.

The ex-Belters boss and Haddington Athletic assistant manager has taken over at Lowland League outfit Whitehill Welfare.

He cited “non-footballing” reasons for his departure from Foresters Park last November, but is “really looking forward to getting started” in his new role.

He told Courier Sport: “I took seven months out to recharge the batteries and now I am really looking forward to getting started.

“It is a big job – I have two signed players – but it is pretty much similar to what I did at Tranent. That appealed to me and I can go and put my own stamp on it.

“I have never shirked away from a challenge.”

Small took over at Foresters Park in February 2015 and, in his first full season in charge, led the club to their first trophy in nearly 20 years as they lifted the South Division title.

However, he left after a 2-1 Scottish Junior Cup defeat to Cumbernauld United on November 19 last year.

After moving house, welcoming a baby girl into the world and taking time away from the game, he felt the time was right to get back into the managerial hot seat.

He said: “I needed to take time out.

“The couple of years at Tranent took its toll on me and the seven months out let me refocus on things and recharge and get ready to go again.”

Whitehill Welfare finished the campaign eighth in the Lowland League but some 35 points behind eventual winners East Kilbride.

Small, who has moved house from Tranent to Musselburgh, was not making bold predictions of challenging the Lanarkshire side for the Lowland League title but was looking to see an improvement.

A midfielder in his playing days, Small said: “It is difficult – I don’t want to set any targets.

“They finished eighth in the last two or three seasons and I want to do better and see progression but there is a lot of work to be done.

“That’s not just with the team in the league but a lot the club wants to change behind the scenes.”