Longlevens appoint new Co-Manager and familiar face joins new look coaching team

Longlevens have appointed Michael Palmer as their new Co-First Team Manager and defender Luke Kavanagh has swapped the pitch for the dugout as part of Craig Martin’s new look coaching team for the 2021/22 Hellenic League season.

Palmer, who confirmed his departure from Tuffley Rovers last week, replaces the recently departed Tommy Callinan at Saw Mills and will sharing managerial duties with Mr Longlevens himself, Craig Martin.

After pretty much calling time on playing week in, week out for Longlevens, Kavanagh joins the set up to assist with coaching, physio duties and match day preparations for the Hellenic Premier side and replaces the departed Darrell Long.

Talking to Severn Sport after the appointments were confirmed, Martin told us that he believes Palmer will be a good fit for Longlevens and believes his new Co-Manager will only benefit the club going forward and is delighted to be able to welcome Luke Kavanagh to a coaching team that boasts experience with Kacey Johnstone and TIm Hall staying on at Saw Mills.

“To be fair, I didn’t really set out to do anything special at first [when Callinan and Long stepped away], I mainly was just seeing what would happen and wondered if any old players or an outsider would be interested in coming along and getting involved.

I spoke with Mike after his final game in charge at Tuffley and it’s just seemed the right time. Mike brings us a lot of coaching skill and experience and with that comes knowledge.

He also has a good relationship with a lot of people in the game, both players and in general and that will only benefit Longlevens as a club.

I’ve asked Luke to come on board as he has always to be involved and he covers a lot from all of a physio, coaching and playing stand point. It is great that we still have him around as he is a familiar face that the boys will respond to.

We still have both Kacey and Tim involved and who says I will stop at that?” Laughed Martin.

Former Tuffley Rovers Development manager Palmer says he cannot wait to start with Longlevens and hopes lay down a marker and bring success to the club.

“I’m very excited to join Longlevens,” said Palmer. “The most important thing for me is that it’s going to be a challenge.

I was offered a few jobs [after leaving Tufley] and whilst I am stepping into the unknown by making a step into Senior Football management but if I don’t try I’ll never know.

The project at Longlevens is a good one as it is always to have a good mixture of people because you can learn off each other. But whilst I am joining the likes of Spider, Luke, Kacey and Tim to be part of the team, I am joining Longlevens to be successful.

I am very proactive in my working life and always want to be successful on and off the pitch and that is no different at Longlevens.

I’ll be looking to bring the team up to the next level. Pre-season will give me a chance to get to know the lads and see what they are capable of. After speaking to Spider we know where we want to be, but the most important thing is getting used to the lads and making myself and what I am about known,” Palmer added.

Palmer also spoke to us about his Co-Manager and how pleased he is with working with Craig Martin.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Craig. In football as in life you need to surround yourself with the right people and with the fact I am stepping into Senior Management he is perfect for me.

Spider has not only experience of the club but of the level of football, he has seen a lot and that will only benefit me at the club,” said Palmer.

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With the news that he is joining the coaching staff Luke Kavanagh spoke to us about still being able to contribute to Longlevens as a club, even if not playing every week, as well as what he will bring to the table.

“It’s always nice to be wanted around the place and to be asked to come into the coaching fold is just that for me.” said Kavanagh

“[On whether now is the right time to be primarily on the sidelines at this stage of his career] That’s a great question, who knows I guess is the answer. I had a chat with Spider [Craig Martin] about it all and he knows where I stand.

I want to still contribute in any way that I can and because of this role it will probably suit me, as it is tough to nail down a place when you aren’t playing week in, week out.

It seems there is a real transition rolling at the club again with lots more younger players coming of age and if I can play a small part in supporting that then I’d love to.

Hopefully I can pass on a bit of experience to the younger lads coming through, plus support on the game preparation side of things,” added Kavanagh.

Cover photo with full copyright by Brian Rossiter. Please visit his wonderful albums via Twitter @BrianRossiter1 or Flickr