John Sharman has been named Lancing Football Club’s manager having been in caretaker charge for the past few weeks.
He oversaw Lancers’ progress in the FA Vase with a 3-1 win at Beckenham Town earlier this month and his first game in full charge was a 3-3 draw at Arundel in the Southern Combination League Premier Division on Saturday.
As a player, Sharman made 321 appearances for Lancing, scoring 14 goals, between 1981 to 1993. He stopped playing to become assistant manager to Andy Gander for Lancing’s reserve team, before he was Gander’s assistant for the first teams at both Lancing and Wick.
After a spell out of the game just watching various matches around the county - including several games at Lancing, for whom his son, Dave, plays - Sharman returned to Culver Road last year to assist Ash Bailey.
Sharman took caretaker charge after Bailey stepped down at the beginning of the month and is now targeting a mid-table finish. He said: “I’m looking forward to it and to working with the boys.
“I’d like to think we can finish around mid-table. We’ve got a little bit of work to do to get up there but the priority is not to get relegated.”
Sharman will be assisted by Malcolm Saunders and his first home game in charge will be against Eastbourne Town on Saturday.
Lancing chairman John Rea said: “As a club we are naturally pleased that a local man like John, with so many Lancing appearances to his name, is stepping up to take the helm.
“His first task will be to keep the club in the top flight and we have every confidence that he will then take the club forward.”
Lancers were denied all three points by a last minute Arundel equaliser on Saturday.
Robin Deen gave Lancers the lead on two minutes, before Lewis Finney, who has returned to the club from Haywards Heath, cut in from the left and drilled home a low shot to make it 2-0 six minutes into the second half.
A double from Harry Russell drew Mullets level, before Mike Williamson’s brilliant curling effort into the top corner put Lancing back ahead ten minutes from time.
Arundel pressed for an equaliser and got it late on when a free kick was not cleared and Dion Jarvis was on hand to slot home from close range.
Sharman said: “We’d have taken a point before the game as they were in good form going into it.
“However, after leading 2-0 and being 3-2 ahead going into injury-time, it felt a bit like a loss afterwards and that we’d lost two points.
“The boys worked their socks off but they put us under constant pressure late on and we just couldn’t quite hold on.”
LANCING: Fidler; B.Donaldson, Fenton, Bygraves, D.Sharman, E.Finney, L.Finney, Waterman, Deen, Caplin, Williamson. Subs: Baah (Caplin 80), Kavanagh (Waterman 90), D.Cruz. Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!