Craig Routledge, last season’s number two at Cleator Moor Celtic, is stepping up to succeed John George as manager.

George stood down last month after guiding Celtic to a commendable mid-table finish in their first season in the Hallmark Security North West Counties League.

Routledge, recommended by George to take on the role, will have a familiar face at Celtic coming in to work as his number two in Dene White.

Routledge, who holds a level 2 coaching badge and is currently doing his UEFA B licence, spent 14 years with Whitehaven AFC as a player. He then turned to Sunday League football with Workington Red House but injury forced him into retirement.

So at a young age he turned to coaching and joined Workington Athletic in the Cumberland County League. He also had other roles coaching Seaton Juniors and Workington Reserves as well as a coaching position with Carlisle United academy.

Last season he joined John George at Celtic following the demise of his Athletic side soon after they had won the County League championship.

Celtic secretary Herbert Briggs said: “We are delighted that Craig had agreed to step up to number one, as at one point we thought we had lost him with Whitehaven AFC asking him to join them.

“The confirmation that he was staying and stepping up has delighted everyone at the club.

“His number two is definitely no stranger as ex-QPR trainee Dene White returns to the first team after a two-year break. Dene has also managed the clubs reserves and first team so he knows the players well and many think they will work well together.“I look forward to the new season ahead and I hope the players, old and new, get on board with what Craig and Dene have in store. If they do it could be a good season and we could surprise a few teams in 2019/20.”