Gough & McKeon looking to match off the field ambitions on the field with Newent Town


Recently appointed Dan Gough and Sean McKeon say they are looking to match the off the field ambitions at Newent Town, whilst bringing a winning culture to the First Team.

Gough was announced as Newent’s latest Manager, with McKeon as his Assistant, last week and speaking to Severn Sport, McKeon says the decision to join the club was made easier after meeting the club’s committee.

“The club is full of good people,” said McKeon. “We held a couple of lengthy meetings with them upon taking the job. Their passion is evident and matches ours, so we’re excited to get going!

The pitch has had work done to it this summer and the committee aren’t standing still, with more exciting things in the pipeline – so it is a great opportunity for us to help progress the club,” McKeon added.

The duo join the Hellenic Division One club after guiding Fairford Town Reserves to the Hellenic Division Two West title last season. Gough and McKeon left Cinder Lane before deciding to taking on the Newent job and Gough admits it was a tough decision to initially leave Fairford.

“Leaving Fairford was a difficult decision for us,” said Gough. “Leaving the players we brought in and the people at the football club who made our time there enjoyable and special in that season was hard.

But after leaving them in a great position to push on under the new management, the chance to take on a First Team position at a very respected football club was an offer myself and Sean jumped at after hearing the clubs ambition and plans,” Gough added.

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Newent found life tough in Hellenic One for the most part last season, although they stayed up by thirteen points in the end. But heading into the 2024/25 pre-season schedule, Gough says that he is aiming for his new side to be competitive and match the big plans going on off the field at the football club.

“We need to improve on the previous finishes in the league and after discussions with the club, they want us to be competitive this season and build a culture at the football club to match the big plans going on behind the scenes.

Myself and Sean have set our targets for the season, privately, but they will be re-laid to the players when we finalise our squad.

The plan is to assess the current group when we return on Tuesday and take stock of who is returning and who is moving on.

We have already had positive conversations with new players about coming to the club. Sean and I want to bring in players who fit the profile of what the club and we as management want to create for the new season ahead and moving forward,” said Gough.

There is a new look to the Hellenic Division One this season, with Wantage Town coming down after being relegated from the Premier Division and sides like Ludlow Town joining a 22 team division.

Going into the new season, McKeon admits that it will be a very tough league once again, but hopes previous experience for both him and Gough can put them in good stead for the season ahead.

“There is no doubt that it’ll be a tough division, with a few new teams added for the first time,” said McKeon.

“We are under no illusions how competitive it will be, but we are excited to build a good squad and create a real togetherness on and off the pitch at the same time!

“Dan has managed in this league previously and I won it as a player back in a successful Carterton side nine years ago – so hopefully that experience can help us during the course of the campaign,” McKeon added.

Newent Town return to training on Tuesday night, if any players are interested in attending then contact the club on social media.

Cover photo courtesy of Newent Town AFC

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