HARWICH and Parkeston have given themselves a boost on the eve of tomorrow's derby against Little Oakley by confirming the permanent appointment of new manager Mike Wallace.

Wallace had been acting as caretaker boss following the departure of Kieron Shelley in early December.

He oversaw 3-1 victories against both Barkingside and Newbury Forest and will now be hoping to make it a hat-trick of victories when his side welcome rivals Oakley to the Gwinnell and Sons Royal Oak tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

"I'm excited and honoured to have been given this amazing opportunity," said Wallace, who touched base with Shelley before agreeing to become the next Shrimpers boss.

"Everyone knows my feelings for the club.

"I've loved every minute of my time there and developed such a wonderful relationship with the supporters, committee members and chairman Tony Armstrong.

"To now be manager in my own right is an absolute privilege and I'll be doing all I can, and working as hard as possible, to bring success to the Oak.

"I'm genuinely excited about the challenge ahead and what better way to kick things off than with tomorrow's match against Oakley.

"They're doing so well and I have huge respect for everyone there, especially manager Matt Carmichael.

"It's a great, healthy rivalry.

"Hopefully a big crowd can enjoy an exciting match together - then we can all have a drink together in the bar afterwards."

Chairman Armstrong is delighted Wallace has agreed to take the reins and described him as the "obvious choice" to succeed Shelley.

"Mike was the obvious choice to take over, after all the effort he has put in while working with Kieron," he said.

"He knows all the players' capabilities and fully deserves the opportunity.

"The confirmation of the position has been readily accepted by everyone attached to the club."

Gary Kioussis will assist Wallace while Colchester United legend Steve Foley has also agreed to help out with some training and coaching.

"All the players at the club can learn massively from Steve and we're very lucky to get him helping us and support Mike off the pitch," added Armstrong, whose side are 11th in Thurlow Nunn League first division south with six wins, six draws and six defeats from their 18 matches.

“Getting the situation sorted so quickly was important and vital to show everyone at the club we still mean business this season and get some stability back.

“We're all very excited with the appointments and naturally hope they all enjoy their time with the club."

Harwich had been due to visit Coggeshall United on Saturday.

However, in common with many other non-league fixtures last weekend, the match was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

After tomorrow's game, the Shrimpers do not play again until January 11, when they travel to Hackney Wick.