Longlevens have announced that they will be looking for a new management team for their Reserve side for the 2019/20 Gloucestershire Northern Senior League season.
Current joint managers Dan English and Dan McDonald will be staying with the club in playing roles; whilst coach Tom Read will be also staying within the club in a management role, Severn Sport understands.
In their final game of the season, Longlevens Reserves were beaten 7-0 by title challengers Chalford to finish 10th in Division One of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League.
“We started like a train and lost only two of our first 10 games. But we lost Adam Phillips and Rob Perry to long term injuries, which were big blows as for me they are the two best centre backs in the league.” Dan English said when summarising the season.
“We then lost Fin Brown, who was called into the Slimbridge First team and Billy Barlow went travelling. Unfortunately this league is pretty unforgiving, especially when you lose a core of your squad and in particular at the back.” English added.
Despite a strong start the club as a whole was affected when First Team Manager Mark Moore had to step away on medical grounds and the Reserve team was used to rally around the First team in their bid for Hellenic Premier survival.
“Unfortunately because we lost so many players we were having to put out makeshift teams that were different week to week. For example this weekend we had Isaac Johns (a striker) playing in a back three because we didn’t have any recognised centre backs. But, the boys who have had to fill in at the back have done a great job for us this season.” English said.
“One problem we had in the middle of the season in particular was that we struggled to put the ball in the net. We haven’t had a recognised striker consistently playing for us. Our top scorer is Jack Cornell on 8 goals and Filton Gardiner has 6 – so it is disappointing to see no one reach double figures.”
Whilst discussing where he feels the Reserve team should be taken in the future, English told us that the ideal candidate will be needing to mix experience with the plethora of young talent coming through at Longlevens.
“We have had a lot of young players who have also been playing for the 1sts and 3rds and in this league we found that a lot of the other clubs, in particular Chalford, have a settled side that is more experienced at this level.
If you look at our results, when we have had players like Ryan Dunn, Ellis Sausman and Luke Kavanagh playing for us we started picking up points. We need that core of knowledge going forward.
Ideally, the new management team will need to be someone who has managed at this sort of level and can bring in new faces to freshen up and put a stamp on their squad. They will be coming to a club with great facilities and a very good group of players at their disposal.”
English told us he was delighted to be returning to play for Longlevens, but he enjoyed his time in charge of the Reserves.
“I really did enjoy it. The last few games were tough as we have been giving the 1sts all the support they need to make sure they stay up. But on the flip side of that it is great to see the likes of Tommy Callinan and Fin Brown, who were great at Northern Senior League level, getting first team games and play a crucial role for them.”
First Team Manager Craig Martin has described the importance of the role the Reserve team plays in the development of the First Team.
“It’s all about the club and the way we want to be going really. This season we have had Harry Emmett, Isaac Johns, Josh Westcarr, Fin Brown, Rhys Lewis and Tommy Callinan all play big parts during the whole season for the First Team and have been vital for us at various points of the season.
We have had Liam Best cover for us in goal and we have a number of very good young players making the step up. One player in particular who I know has been great for the Reserve team and is very unlucky not to have made an appearance with us is Phil Blackburn. We hope he could be able to break into the first team next season and could be one people will be talking about.
But saying that it is also important that players can go the other way as well and can go and play for the Reserves when game time is limited and they work hard and put a shift in for the Reserve team.”
Any interested candidates are encouraged to contact Longlevens by emailing Chairman Mark Cornell at firstname.lastname@example.org to express their interest.