Newly appointed Sharpness Manager Josh Loveridge says he is looking to match the ambitions of his club ahead of the 2022/23 Gloucestershire County League campaign.
Former Frampton United manager Loveridge was announced as the new manager at Sharpness earlier in June folliowing a break from football after his departure from the Shortwood United management team during the 2021/22 season and after his new side returned for pre-season action, Loveridge spoke to Severn Sport about his delight for taking over and explained what drew him to the role.
“I’m delighted to have been appointed Manager at Sharpness – it’s a really exciting time to be joining this football club,” said Loveridge.
“There is no need for me to come here and change an awful lot and we will be building on the great work that’s already been done over the last few years here.
There is a fantastic plan in place here at Sharpness and there is an opportunity to take the whole club forward, which is absolutely key.
We have planning permission in place for floodlights and a stand. Plus the Hellenic League came down last season and have given the ground the green light – so we know that if we get it right on the pitch, then we have an opportunity to really push the club forward.
I have known that the role would be available since around February probably and ever since then I was adamant that this is the role I wanted. It was an opportunity to go back in as a Manager, which is always something I was very keen to get back to,” Loveridge added.
Tuesday night’s first session was Loveridge’s first chance to meet his Sharpness squad and it also gave the chance for his new management team to start work ahead of their pre-season schedule.
Loveridge has confirmed since joining the club that he will be assisted by Warren Evans and Chris Gooch [Assistant Manager & Head Coach respectively], as well as Matt Turl, who joins the club from Kingswood as Goalkeeping Coach and Loveridge says he is very happy with the personnel both on the pitch and in the dugout.
“It was a really good first session to be honest,” said Loveridge. “There were good numbers and all of the boys worked really hard in hot conditions.
I’ve had conversations over the phone with the majority of the squad before training, but it was great to meet them in person and to start putting name to faces.
I’m delighted that Warren has agreed to be Assistant Manager. I brought Warren into Frampton when I was there and we worked well together, so I’m looking forward to working with him again – his experience as a coach and a Manager at this level and above was invaluable to me at Frampton and it will be again this time around.
I’ve just agreed to bring in Chris Gooch as Head Coach, which is an unbelievable appointment for us, in my opinion. Chris is an A-Licence Coach and was one of my tutors when I completed my B-Licence, so I’m delighted to get him on board and I’m really excited to be working closely with him.
I’m really happy to get Matt Turl in as GK Coach too. It’s important that our goalkeepers are looked after properly and Matt will be a real asset to us.
I’m really looking forward to working with the management team as a whole, they bring a variety of experience and they are all top lads too!” Loveridge said.
Sharpness start their pre-season schedule with a home fixture against Portishead Town on Saturday 2nd July, before games against Berkeley Town and Longlevens Reserves away from home the next two Saturdays.
They then host Hallen in a midweek game on Wednesday 20th July, before games at Abbeymead Rovers and Hereford Pegasus – with a home game against Pilcs FC on Saturday 30th July.
Sharpness finished 3rd in the Gloucestershire County League and 14 points behind eventual winners Wick and ahead of the new campaign, Loveridge reiterates his desire to be as ambitious on the pitch as the club are off it.
“We will need to be adaptable [in the coming season]. We’ll try and play, but there will be times where we will need to switch things up, but we’ll be prepared to play however is needed in the game.
The football club is ambitious and are working hard behind the scenes to get things in place. It’s important that we as a team match that ambition on the pitch and work hard to deliver.
We will do that by approaching each game one at a time,” said Loveridge.
Sharpness host Portishead Town in the first pre-season friendly at the Hamfields Leisure Centre on Saturday 2nd July, kick off 15:00