Defeat at Buxton - Nantwich Town boss Phil Parkinson against Blyth Spartans

Nantwich Town manager Phil Parkinson says he still calls Crewe Alex boss Steve Davis “gaffer”.

Parkinson, who played under Davis when he managed the Dabbers, says the impact he had on his football is immeasurable.

The two go head to head in tomorrow’s (July 19) pre season friendly when Crewe make the short trip to the Weaver Stadium (kick off 2pm)

Parkinson said: “It’s like when you see an old teacher who had a major impact on your life you always call them Sir even though you know their name.

“I guess it’s just a sign of respect.

“It’s not just me, when the other ex-players see him they all express that respect as well, I guess it’s everything we went through together.”

Parkinson was an inspiration leader on the pitch and Davis installed him as captain during his tenure at Nantwich.

The duo led the Dabbers to back to back promotions, winning the Cheshire Senior Cup for the first time in 30 years, and just missed out in the Northern Premier League Play Off final.

Their greatest achievement was winning the FA Vase in 2006 – one the town will always remember.

The famous victory was followed by the team appearing in an open top bus journey through the town.

Steve Davis, Crewe managerDavis (pictured, right) joined Crewe as assistant manager soon after before becoming manager at the Alexandra Stadium in 2011.

Parkinson said: “He has been superb with me since I moved into management.

“He was one of the first people to congratulate me when I got the Alsager Town job and the same at Nantwich.

“He always finds time for me, even though he was in a relegation battle himself at the time and under massive pressure, which just shows the calibre of the man, the reason I hold him in such high esteem.

“I never doubted he would guide Crewe to safety, which is another great achievement for the club which competes on very tight budget.

“He works miracles each season to keep Crewe up, so it sticks in my throat when I hear fans giving him a hard time.

“Just look at the players he’s had to sell. If they were still there I’m sure they’d be competing in the Championship like the glory days when ‘Sorves’ was there.”

“It’s a privilege and a pleasure to speak to him and with what he has achieved in the game, he doesn’t have to give me the time of day, but he always does.

“Which I believe gives me the helping hand I need at key times as a young manager learning my trade.”

Nantwich are already bearing the fruits of this, with Jon Moran and Chris Speed finding their way to the club after Crewe released them.

“Jon had a massive impact in the race to safety last season,” added Parkinson.

“Naturally he was someone I was keen to get to the club as soon as he knew Crewe wouldn’t be keeping him.”

Kick off is 2pm tomorrow, with entry on the gate.

(pictures courtesy of Simon J Newbury Photography)

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