Early on Thursday, former Wick FC boss Terry Dodd was named as the new player-manager of local rivals East Preston FC. Dodd will lead his new side in the Southern Combination Premier Division when the 2020/21 season begins and I caught up with him after his appointment was announced:
TK: How delighted are you to be back in management so quickly?
TD: Really pleased to get straight back into it, to be honest I enjoyed it so much last year that I was ready as soon as the right offer came in! I thought about playing again and had a couple of offers but I really wanted to be involved somewhere managing.
TK: Is it the same management set up that you had at Wick last year?
TD: Yes it will be apart from Alex (Bryant) due to personal reasons, gonna miss him! I’ve got a goalkeeping coach lined up and that should be ready to be announced in the next week or so.
TK: What attracted you to the job at East Preston?
TD: The club is run right behind the scenes, it’s got a proper set up with the academy to Under 16’s and then Under 18’s and 23’s so the development and natural progression for younger players is there and they want to build a successful sustainable club for the future and it’s exciting to now be a part of that.
TK: How much do you think last season’s experience at Wick will help you going into this season?
TD: I learnt a lot from my short time at Wick and definitely made some mistakes along the way, that’s life though! I would like to think those things won’t be repeated this time around and it will help me to become a better manager.
TK: Have you been set targets for next season or have you some in mind yourself?
TD: We’ve sat down with the chairman and the committee and spoken about how we can take the club forward and progress. Our expectations for our teams will never be any different to what it is normally, challenge and compete in every game we play and to improve game by game.
TK: How do you plan for next season when as yet no one is sure when it’s likely to start?
TD: It’s hard don’t get me wrong, but you have to do it as the season will start on time. Most teams will tell you the same as that, if it does on time and you haven’t prepared properly, you’ll be caught with your pants down rushing around trying to organise things! Least with it planned out you can push it back as and when you need to.
TK: What do you think is realistic to expect from East Preston next season?
TD: We’re bringing in players that want to buy into the club’s ambitions and want to do well for each other, so we’ll see what happens, obviously we want to finish as high as possible! But I would like to think we’ll be in the top half, that would be a good season and something to build upon for the following year.
TK: Are you looking to retain any of last year’s team, or do you have a squad in mind?
TD: I would like to hold onto as many of the squad I had last year at Wick and add a few more just to make it a little stronger, I’ve no doubt that team will more than hold its own in the Premier Division.