Huddersfield District League club Meltham Athletic AFC have a talented young coach on board who wants to re-connect the club with the local community.

UEFA-qualified Max Payne, 23, is originally from Huddersfield and recently moved back home after a few years living in Bournemouth.

On returning to Yorkshire, Payne said: “The plan was always to come back up north and to Huddersfield. I enjoyed what I did down south but I actually think there is more opportunity up here.

“I worked with a semi-pro side down there as well as taking charge of a women’s side. Now, though, I want to build Meltham up and help it get back to where we all know it can be. 

“The club has lots of potential and our first task is to reconnect the community with the club which has been lost in recent years. 

“Since moving to Meltham I have spoken to a few of the locals and heard about the days when Meltham used to get up to 300 spectators at home games.

“I am hoping to bring this back to the club and want to give Meltham a football club to be proud of.

“I see potential in the club and will be looking to give my best to try and get Meltham Athletic back to its best. I see Meltham as a project that I can play my part in.”

Max Payne and Meltham Athletic manager Alex White

Payne added: “I am working alongside manager Alex White and I am helping to implement a good style of football that is very possession-based. We want to play good football at the club. We have some good players and I’m sure more will come on board. 

“They have to be the right characters though, too, so whilst we want good footballers we also want good lads as well.

“I have been a lifelong Town fan and it was watching David Wagner that got me wanting to be a football coach and so he was my inspiration.” 

Finally on what Payne thinks they can achieve this season, he said: “We currently play in the Huddersfield and District League second division. We’d love to get promoted this year. We’d also like to challenge ourselves in the cup and maybe win that. It won’t be easy but those are our ambitions.”

Meltham’s first game of the campaign is on Tuesday August 29 away at Cumberworth. Their first home fixture of the season is on Tuesday September 5 at 6.15pm against Newsome Reserves.