Leamington manager Paul Holleran thought he'd be lucky to do 60 games - now it's over 600!

Brakes at home to Darlington this weekend

Manager Paul Holleran marking his 600th game with Director Kevin Watson and Club Ambassador Brian Knibb (by Sally Ellis)

When Paul Holleran first took charge of Leamington in November 2009 he didn’t think he’d still be there after 60 games, let alone the 600 he celebrated last month with a win over Guiseley.

Brakes didn’t manage to repeat the success at Farsley Celtic last Tuesday or York City on Saturday, losing both 1-0, but the manager is still in positive mood to finish the season as well as they can.

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This weekend 14th-placed Leamington host Darlington, four places and seven points above them in National League North.

“York are a good set-up and we had contained them. It was just a set play that was avoidable that made the difference between the sides,” he said.

“Darlington will be a tough game for us, but we are looking forward to being back at home. Our home form has been fantastic and we want to keep that going.

“Every game is a big, tough game in this league, but we just need to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

“We’ve reached the 40-point mark and it would be great to get to 50. We have the (Birmingham Senior) cup final to look forward to (at Villa Park on May 4) as well.

With injuries to Dan Turner, Devon Kelly-Evans, Kelsey Mooney and Steph Morley it has left the run-in more difficult than it might have been, but Holleran is hoping he won’t be without them all for the weekend.

“If we can get everyone fit that will help,” he added. “We can cope with the odd injury, but when you get four at once it’s difficult.”

Reflecting on his milestone, Holleran said: “The Guiseley game was a great afternoon. It was nice reminiscing in the clubhouse afterwards - good and bad memories!

“The years and games soon creep up on you when you’ve got your head down and just keep going.

“When I first started I thought I’d be lucky to get to 60 games, it was a daunting job, but over the years we’ve grown together.

“All my previous jobs had been two or three years, which is a good period for any manager these days.

“There’s always been something keeping me going, getting into the National League, dropping down and then back up again.

“There have been lots of highlights, some fantastic days, the promotion and play-off games and I take pleasure when players have managed to get into fulltime football, which obviously helps the financial side of the club too.

“Kyle Morrison has just gone to Fylde, which is great for him.

“We’d never stand in their way when it’s their dream and ambition to play full time.

“This league is so challenging, it’s something that keeps me going, to keep improving.

“We really want to try and push on and be a team in the top half of the division.”