Crewe's Neil Baker is excited about Leek challenge

Neil Baker
Neil Baker has spent 17 seasons in the management team at Crewe

Crewe Alexandra's Neil Baker says he will have no problems combining his duties next season.

Baker is a long-serving member of manager Dario Gradi's backroom team and he is returning to Leek Town to become their director of football.

The 57-year-old told BBC Radio Stoke: "I am pleased that Crewe are allowing me to do it and I am really looking forward to it."

Baker left non-league Leek as manager in 1994 to become number two at Crewe.

During his first spell at Harrison Park, Baker enjoyed a successful time in charge guiding the team to promotion to the Northern Premier League.

They reached the FA Trophy final at Wembley in 1990, where they lost 3-0 to Barrow.

Baker has assembled a new-look managerial team, who are all locally connected to the Staffordshire Moorlands outfit.

Lee Caswell has become the new manager, moving from nearby Ball Haye Green.

Caswell has been joined by his number two Kenny Birch Machin, while successful Sunday league manager Kenny Scragg completes the line up.

Baker added: "There is a buzz about the place, all three have loads of enthusiasm and they all know the non-league scene which is important.

"The chairman [Andy Wain] wanted local people running the club and I have been able to satisfy him with my contacts.

"We won't be paying out silly money to players but we can compete in the market for the best in our own area."

Former Port Vale defender Danny Holmes, ex-Altrincham central defender Darren Tinson and the former AFC Telford defender Ashley Wooliscroft are among the new signings to arrive at Harrison Park for pre-season training.