He wants ‘soldiers and artists’, but just who is Boston United number two Paul Holden?

West (left) and Holden, with new boss Graham Drury.
West (left) and Holden, with new boss Graham Drury.

New Boston United assistant manager Paul Holden says he wants to build a team of ‘soldiers and artists’.

The former Crystal Palace academy director has been working with manager Graham Drury for five years.

And together they claim they are a winning combination.

“You need soldiers and artists for a good team,” Holden said, pointing out the need for a balanced side to help United climb the Blue Square Bet North table.

Of course, your average squaddie may not be able to paint the Mona Lisa, while Andy Warhol would probably not be the best man to do a job in Helmand Province.

But Holden believes that the right pieces in the right places can build a perfect jigsaw,

He added: “The flair players are the artists and those with the dirty, hard-working soldier mentality are also needed.

“It’s about getting that balance right.”

Holden will know all about soldiers, having spent 22 years with the Army as a physical training instructor, after life with Portsmouth FC didn’t pan out the way he had hoped.

But he continued to play football at non-league level and has accumulated all the correct coaching badges, to go with the MBE he was awarded in 1997 for his services to sport.

Holden spent time with Gibraltar FA as director of coaching.

It was there he became friendly with Simon Jordan, the former Palace owner who had a home in nearby Puerto Banus.

Jordan invited Holden to link up with him at Selhurst Park, where he worked with the youth teamers and reserves.

But for the last five years, he has been Drury’s assistant.

He added: “I’ve been with Graham five years now.

“His attention to detail is second to none.

“I’ve worked in the international game, but his attention to detail is something to admire.

“I structure sessions around Graham’s plans.”

Joining Holden and Drury on the new management team is former United defender Dean West.

During his playing career, he turned out for the likes of Bury, Burnley and Lincoln, as well as having two spells at York Street.

“I’m hoping it’s third-time lucky for me,” joked West, who is beginning to learn the managerial ropes.

“Graham signed me for Corbny five seasons ago from King’s Lynn, and we won the league in our first season together.

“He’s enthusiastic, hard-working and I enjoyed playing for him.

“I know the club well and am looking forward to coming back.

“I know the crowd here will get behind team when they’re doing well.”

A brickie, an army PT instructor and a former pro footballer walk into a bar.

It sounds like the beginning of a poor joke.

But that’s how the new Pilgrims management team were unveiled on Monday, and they believe they have the credentials to make sure they’re not the punchline.