Martin to stay on as Longlevens manager amidst managerial changes at the club

Longlevens have confirmed that Craig Martin will be staying on as First Team Manager after steering the club to survival in the Hellenic League Premier Division last season. 

Martin made the announcement at the Longlevens End of Season Presentation Evening this weekend to the rest of the club and family, as he also confirmed that Assistant Tommy Callinan would be joining him as Co-Manager.

Darrell Long and Tim Hall will both be staying with the First Team as support coaches, whilst Chris Little takes over the Thirds side who were relegated from Stroud League Division One.

There is all change in the Reserves side after Co-managers Dan English and Dan McDonald confirmed they would be stepping down after a season in charge and their assistant Tom Read has also stepped away to take on the role of Fourths team manager.

The Reserve side, that plays in Division One of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, will now be managed by Player/Manager Luke Kavanagh. Kavanagh will be assisted by Ben Symons and spoke to Severn Sport about his new role.

“I’m looking forward to stepping into a new role within the football club, it’s one that at the time suits everyone. It’s suits me as I get a chance to gain more experience on the coaching and management side of things, whilst still playing a-little bit as-well. Plus it also suits my personal circumstances, as with the imminent arrival of my second child, I get to be a little closer to home with the games.

It’s certainly not the end of my playing time, I want to still play for the side, but I’ll be cautious at when I do this, with the best interest of the side in mind.

I’ve dipped my toe in the water previously with some of the youth sides at the football club and had always wanted to eventually step into the coaching/management side of things, so this presented a good chance to do so. I’d consider myself as someone who has been involved in helping previous managers of the first team in that side of it, so this presents me with an opportunity to do things my way.

I appreciate in a way it’s probably the toughest role at the football club, as for most, it’s a “stop off point” towards first team football. We have a lot of good players at the football club and are speaking to a few more additions to add to that this season, so hopefully I can find the right mix and help players who want that progression towards Hellenic League football.

Last year was a little bit flat, especially amongst the first team, naturally when you lose an influential character like Mark as we did it will be the case, however next season is a clean slate, so amongst myself and Craig we really want to freshen things up and move forward positively for the best intentions of the club.

I’m really great full to have someone like Ben and his experience alongside me. To date he has kept me grounded with things in to what is realistically possible. I’ve known him for a fair few years now and we always catch up about football from time to time, so I’d imagine that will be no different, apart from the fact it will just happen more frequently.

I’m confident that if we can get a way of playing, coupled with a good ethic and spirit amongst the side, then we can have a good season.” Kavanagh said.

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Craig Martin took the reigns of the First Team towards the end of 2018 when then manager Mark Moore had to step away due to medical reasons and he saw his side linger in the relegation zone for the rest of the season.

A great end to the season saw Levens survive the drop and rumours were rife that Martin was going to revert back to his player/Assistant Manager role. We spoke to Martin about what all of the appointments mean for the club.

“For me it wasn’t a hard decision [to stay on as manager], my only worry was I might have been working away for a few months at the start of season but that’s not happening anymore so I am 100% committed.

Making Tommy Co-Manager was a much needed move for me in order to carry on doing the job. I need his experience and know how and we will be able to benefit from having Tommy involved even more than he was already.

Darrell Long and Tim Hall are staying on too which is great. Darrell will be getting more involved this year whilst Tim will be the older wiser head in and around the changing room keeping an eye on us all.

With the rumours of the managerial positions now put to bed, we can all look to build on a strong end to the season and make sure through training and recruitment we don’t find ourselves in a relegation battle next season.” Martin said. 

“Kavs [Luke Kavanagh] taking on the Reserves was important as I didn’t want to lose him from the club. With family commitments changing for him with the imminent arrival of baby number 2, I got onto the phone to him about taking the job on and he had a think and chat with Kirstie his partner and they both agreed.

It’s going to be a massive loss for the First Team cause he’s a leader and a born winner and with him in the side last year he always gave his all and never let us down. He will get the best out of the players as well next season, he doesn’t give you a moments rest and he will be expecting the very best from all the lads. It’s only going to benefit the First Team in the long run with what he’s hoping to achieve with the reserves.

I would also like to say a big thanks to the Dans [English and McDonald] as well who have been superb all season and I’m glad they are staying on at the club as players.” Martin added.

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