WHEN John Fisher departed Shrivenham at the end of the season, he thought his days as a manager were over.
Having steadied the ship at the Rec following nearly two seasons in charge, Fisher left the hotseat citing primarily the lack of a budget for the forthcoming season as the reason for his decision.
Shrivenham had finished a modest 16th in the Hellenic Premier, nothing to be ashamed of by any means, but Fisher has always been a man uninterested in mediocrity.
At that stage it was either a case of managing a side with a budget, therefore giving him the tools to compete at the upper end of the Hellenic Premier, or nothing.
And with the financial coffers of nearly all local clubs stretched to the limit, it looked as if Fisher would spend more of his Saturdays on the golf course rather than on the touchline.
But everything changed when Gary Horgan rejected the chance to take the Supermarine job for 2012/13 and the South Marston club instead swooped for Highworth boss Dave Webb, freeing up the one role Fisher could tempted by.
The 55-year-old had enjoyed significant success in his previous spell in charge at the Elms between 2002 and 2007, most notably winning the Hellenic Premier in 2004/05 before later leaving for personal reasons.
So Fisher got in contact with chairman Rohan Haines and an interview was set up. It went well. Very well.
The committee were so impressed that they decided despite interest from two other candidates, they would appoint Fisher with immediate effect.
It was a state of affairs that several weeks before, Fisher would have thought unlikely.
“When I finished at Shrivenham I thought I was done,” he said. “This job is the only one I’d have come back for.
“I’ve come home. I had some good times here before and I’m just hoping we can do the same again.
“When I left before it was nothing to do with the footballing side and I want to come back and kick on again.
“When I went back for the interview it was all people I knew and it was just like the old days.
“Everything about it suits me down to the ground and it’s nice to walk back in somewhere that you know that they want you.”
Fisher will be joined at Highworth by his assistant at Shrivenham, Kevin Moloney, while he is also trying to convince ex-Swindon Town player Paul Hunt – better known in local football as ‘Oggie’ - to help out with coaching.
But for now it is just Fisher and Moloney that have been tasked with inching Highworth closer to Southern League football, and with plans to build a new ground on the Elms site within the next few years at an embryonic stage, the future looks bright.