Steyning’s search for a new boss gathers pace

Steyning celebrate a goal last season
Steyning celebrate a goal last season

Steyning Town Football Club chairman Richard Woodbridge is hopeful a new boss will be in place before Saturday’s season opener.

Town have been on the look-out for a manager since Alan Skipper’s decision to step down last month.

Woodbridge admits it’s not ideal preparation for his Steyning side but hopes someone will be in place before their curtain-raiser.

Steyning kick off the new season with a trip to fellow Southern Combination League Division 1 side Selsey in the Peter Bentley Cup first round on Saturday.

Woodbridge said: “It’s not been ideal with everything that’s happened in the past few weeks.

“We interviewed a wide range of candidates from Sunday to Tuesday and we will hope to have someone in place before the season starts.

“If we don’t manage to get someone in, it won’t be a big issue but if we can then great.

“We want to get a settled side with the manager in place sooner rather than later.”

Should Town not find a new boss before Saturday Richard Branigan and Paul Hawkins will take caretaker charge.

While it is not ideal preparation for the season, Woodbridge has every confidence in the temporary pair should they be called upon.

He added: “Richard and Paul will take the team if we don’t appoint someone in time.

“Paul was assistant here last season and he knows most of the squad.

“It’s not ideal preparation but if necessary that’s the step we’ll take.”

With plans recently approved for a 3G surface to be installed at Steyning’s Shooting Field home, Woodbridge admits that is a factor in their new manager search.

He said: “We are looking at a lot of options but we want someone who plays football the right way.

“With the 3G being installed for the new season it’s something we want from them.

“We try to promote good football at youth level, so it’s vital our first and reserve teams play the right way.”

As no manager remains in place, Woodbridge believes it’s difficult to set any targets for the season.

He added: “As we have not got a new man in place yet it’s tricky to set any targets.

“It’s just a case of us trying to adjust to the 3G and playing as well as we can.

“I’m sure the new manager will have his ideas, aims and ambitions, which as a club will be backed by us.”

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