Slaney backs Donnelly to turn Shoreham's fortunes around

Nick Collyer has made the step up from Shoreham's under-18's to the first team in recent weeks. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Nick Collyer has made the step up from Shoreham's under-18's to the first team in recent weeks. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Shoreham Football Club chairman Stuart Slaney is keeping the faith with boss Sammy Donnelly.

Mussels have found their first ever season at Bostik League South standard a tough task and they find themselves 13 points adrift at the foot of the table with 13 matches left.

Despite what has proved to be a difficult campaign, Slaney is backing Donnelly to bring the good times back to Middle Road.

Slaney and co-chairman Ralph Prodger have been so impressed by Donnelly’s conduct this season that they have offered him the job next season whether Mussels remain in the Bostik League or not.

“Many managers would have walked away a long time ago but Sammy has been superb,” Slaney said.

“I don’t think anyone involved with the club expected the step up to be as big as what it's been, we’ve learnt a great deal.

“I think offering Sammy the job next year as well, which he’s accepted, will add some much needed stability.

“Sammy is more than just a manager here. He helps out in anyway he can, giving a great deal of his time.

“He’s shown us a great deal of faith and myself and Ralph feel it’s only right to give him the chance to continue working here next season.”

Mussels have won just three times in the league all season and have had 50 different players registered.

To add to Shoreham’s woes, they were also deducted six points in November for a ‘registration irregularity’.

With so many comings and going over the course of this campaign, Slaney is looking to the club’s successful youth team to step up.

Shoreham’s under-18 team sit top of the Bostik League Youth East Division and Slaney wants to bring the current crop through to the first team.

He said: “The under-18 team are having such a good season and that’s something we want to capitalise on.

“The vision is to bring those through the club and have a decent number of our own involved in Sammy’s plans.”

Donnelly admitted he wasted no time in accepting the job next season.

Shoreham’s young crop are flourishing and Donnelly wants to build something special over the coming years.

He said: “It has been a hard season so far but while there is still a chance we can stay in the Bostik League we’ll give it everything.

“I think long-term the aim is to develop the youth and bring them through.

“They’ve had great success in their league so far and the next step is for them to come and join me with the first team.

“No matter what division we are in next season, I’ll still be here.

“It’s pleasing to know I’ll still be around, it’s a chance to build on nearly two years here now.”