Dave Frecklington talks about his new job with such boyish enthusiasm that he sounds like he can scarcely believe his luck.
But it’s not by fortune that the 40-year-old finds himself as manager of National League North side Gainsborough Trinity.
He took his first steps in the managerial game seven years ago and has slowly but surely climbed the ladder from Step 5 of the non-league football pyramid to Step 2.
In the twightlight of his playing career a coaching career began – at Lincoln Moorlands Railway under Chris Moyses, who later went on to become Lincoln City boss.
Frecklington then earned his stripes as an assistant boss to Simon Clark – now at League One Charlton – with spells at Stamford and Worksop Town.
When the duo departed Worksop, it was Frecklington’s time to strike out on his own, taking charge of Lincoln United.
After three years as Whites boss, having led them to the Evo-Stik Division One play-offs, Frecklington moved on again.
And it was his success as Spalding United manager that apparently caught the eye of Gainsborough’s decision makers.
Frecklington moved to the Northolme on Monday, leaving the Tulips second in the Evo-Stik Division One South table.
With promotion potentially on the horizon, some might have had second thoughts about stepping up two divisions to take the reins at a relegation-threatened outfit like Trinity.
Not so the newly appointed Blues boss.
“I was offered the job on Saturday night and I was walking on air,” he said.
“It’s everything I wanted in a job.
“It’s 15 minutes from my home in Saxilby to the Northolme but more than anything the size of the football club makes it an exciting opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.”
Frecklington might be grateful for the trust placed in him by the Gainsborough board, but he isn’t thanking his lucky stars for getting him to this point.
“It all started in Step 5, in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division with Lincoln Moorlands with Chris Moyses,” he said.
“When you stop playing you want to stay involved but I never really thought I would end up at Gainsborough Trinity.
“But since I cut my teeth with Clarky, I realised it’s what I wanted to do.
“You’re either in it because you love the game or because you love the game and you want to be successful.
“It has taken hard work but now I’m exactly where I want to be.
“It’s a big club and the potential is massive.”
Talk of potential is all well and good, but first Frecklington must ensure Gainsborough don’t take a backward step out of the National League North.
Ahead of his first game in charge, Saturday’s visit of Gloucester City, Trinity’s new supremo knows where his priorities lie.
“First and foremost we want to stay in this league.
“We want it to be a longterm project here and put the building blocks in place to move the club forward in the right direction.
“It’s about National League North safety and then progression year on year.”
Frecklington, and new assistant Terry Fleming, may decide to bring in new players to help the effort to keep Trinity – who sit a point above the relegation zone – in this division.
But he’s already well acquainted with the current squad and will give them a chance to impress.
“I know them all, I’ve done my homework over the last week,” he said.
“I’ve come across many of them before in the game, a few have come from Steps 4 and 5, so I have a really good understanding of what we’ve got here.
“They’re a talented squad.
“For whatever reason they are where they are, but it’s a clean slate, a fresh start and sometimes that can give everyone five or 10 per cent more.
“We’ve got the majority on contract but it’s just a piece of paper, it doesn’t mean you’ve got a duty to perform – working hard is a minimum requirement.
“The chairman has given the green light that if we need reinforcements we can make sure we get the right people in.”
Any players coming in will be improvements, according to Frecklington, not just bodies brought in for the sake of making the squad bigger.
He’s confident, however, that if after this week’s two training sessions and Saturday’s match he decides he does need to strengthen, his contacts book – built up through seven years of hard work – will be sufficient to find suitable signings.