Steve has formerly managed Arundel, Weymouth and Burgess Hill. He was briefly at the Caburn in the latter stages of the 2004-05 season as assistant manager after his dismissal from Weymouth. He brings with him as assistant manager and club coach Bechard Bejaoui, a former French Under-19 international who holds a UEFA “B” coaching badge.
Introducing Steve at a meeting with players and supporters, chairman, Richard Soan said ‘Steve is an experienced manager. He has a strong track record and is particularly impressive as a hands-on coach. The club was disappointed to miss out on promotion last season but it is still the Directors’ ambition to seek promotion to the Ryman’s League should the opportunity arise in the future. Planning permission has now been granted for the necessary ground improvements and the club is now seeking financial assistance to make the work happen.
Steve said his aim was to achieve the Division 1 championship for the club after last season’s second place. “People know my teams play football and my practice sessions are hard work but fun. I’ll make sure players don’t just go running on the training ground. You can work just as hard with the ball as without and my squad will develop their skills while also building fitness. It should be about enjoyment.” He will demand a professional attitude from his players and this will include a smarter appearance on match days and a drive to cut down the use of bad language and to improve the club’s disciplinary record. He also intends to make himself available to supporters in the clubhouse after matches and he expects his players to do the same.
Welcoming the club’s close links with Lewes Bridgeview and Ringmer Rovers, Steve envisages being able to draw on both the club’s reserve side and its newly re-formed Under-18 side to supplement his first team squad. He promised Bechard and himself would make a point of watching both the Reserves and the Youth team whenever possible as well as liaising with the managers of those sides. He envisages the youngsters as the future of the club and so he would like to encourage them to stay at the club, something that has not tended to happen in recent years. He also hoped his family connections with several professional clubs would enable him to offer good youngsters a route to a higher standard of football. Furthermore in a new departure, Bechard and Steve are hoping to arrange coaching sessions at the Caburn during the school summer holidays.
Praising this initiative, Richard Soan said he hoped that by encouraging local youngsters in this way the club might benefit from increased support from the village.