Dave “Dabba” Hewson admits he is thrilled to be back involved in football at Penrith AFC.

Hewson, who resigned as Workington Reds joint-manager in December, was recently appointed as the Bonny Blues’ first-team coach ahead of their 2019/20 season.

Hewson says he is eager to work alongside boss Andy Coyles and assistant manager Billy Redden.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since December when I was last involved [in football],” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting amongst the dressing room, and in and around players, again.”

On how he was approached by Penrith, Hewson explained: “I’ve had regular contact with Andy, the manager at Penrith. I’ve been keeping tabs on them since I left Workington.

“I just had a conversation with him and he said his plans for the club moving forward and the direction Penrith were wanting to move in. I have been really impressed with the job they have done.

“Andy and Billy have done well since Andy came in, and they have brought a lot of players back to the squad.

“I had a lot of discussions with my family and with friends within the game to see what they thought about the idea of me getting back into it, and everybody was very encouraging and said to give it a go.”

Despite finishing bottom of Northern League Division One last term, the Bonny Blues, as expected, have kept their place in the league.

But Hewson believes Penrith’s league position doesn’t paint a full picture of the work manager Coyles has done since his appointment in October, having also guided his team to a third successive Cumberland Cup final where they lost 3-1 to Carlisle United.

“If you took the season from January, they would have finished sixth,” he said.

“They’re in a good league, with a lot of good teams. They had a fantastic run from January onwards.

“A big part of that was bringing what I see as the key players back in at Penrith.

“They were enjoying their football, they were on board with what the club was trying to do and they are on board again next season.

“I’m talking about the likes of Grant Davidson, Adam Main and Kyle May. The experienced ones who make a difference to the team.

“Those guys are with us again and they are looking forward to the new season, and they are part of the plans going forward. The fact they have already committed to be with Penrith again next season was another factor in me deciding to join, as well.”

Hewson added: “The manager has his own personal targets for the season. He is very aspirational, which I like.

“He knows where the strengths of the squad are. Players are hard to come by, so the fact he has managed to secure the majority of the squad from last season is a bonus.

“We just have to look and see what else is around because you don’t have the financial pull at a club like Penrith, you don’t have the finances to bring players in from far away. You have to look locally.

“At the moment, I think we’ve got the best of what’s available, but we’ll carry on looking.

“And, if I can use my contacts to bring in any fresh faces, then hopefully we can build on the squad that they finished the season with.”