Isthmian League

Longhurst into Ramsgate hotseat

Ramsgate FC have announced Matt Longhurst as first team manager.

Matt will be accompanied by Seb Tidey and Liam Taylor, both joining his coaching staff.

via the Ramsgate website, Chairman James Lawson, stated:

“In just a short space of time we have had a number of fantastic applications, many of which were from the top echelons of Thanet football who have been galvanised by our drive to promote young local footballers.”

“I will speak to them all in the coming days and extend an invitation to become part of our set up. It’s talented local people like these that will help us achieve our long term goal of helping young players in this area become the best footballers that they can be.”

“In the immediate term, we are in a relegation battle and are in a position to move quickly having conducted an extensive recruitment process just a couple of months ago in which Matt was a standout candidate.”

“Not only does he support our long term goals, but more importantly he knows this league extensively. We represent an opportunity to apply his skills to a club with greater resources than he has previously worked with.”

“I was delighted when Matt highlighted that he felt it was important that we install a coaching team around him from the local area. There are very few people who know local players better than A-License coach Seb Tidey – he has trained many of them for a number of years.”

“Likewise, with Liam, until recently he was our U23 manager and has been instrumental in the development of a very talented group of local players.”

“As a club we would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jason Lillis, Terry Sedge Joe Radford. It should be recognised that Jason and his management team acted with professionalism and dignity throughout a time of transition at the club.”

“There are always differences of opinion in football but the future at this club is exciting and it’s vital that we all unite behind our new management and support our team.”

Matt Longhurst takes charge of his first match on Saturday when The Rams take on VCD Athletic.

The new boss gave his reaction to joining the club.

“First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you to the club for giving me this opportunity to work at Ramsgate – there is a great opportunity to build something here.”

“At my previous clubs it has always taken time to build the correct structure and that includes the introduction of Youth players into the first team squad.”

“We already have a fairly strong side here with a great work ethic and I think it’s important that we get a settled group now as soon as possible.”

“Ideally we would like to base our side around local talent, but equally, the players need to be good enough. I think the best way of describing it is this: if we have our own 20-year old player who has great potential, we won’t look elsewhere.”

“Short-term we need to get some results and points onto the Isthmian League table, long-term we want to build a strong capable team that is recognised by supporters.”

“Some of the signings I make as manager will be for the view of the long-term heading into the next season and any youngsters brought into the side gradually as and when they’re ready will also have that opportunity to be in my long-term plans.”

“I hope that there can be an understanding between myself, the supporters and the club that we are on a journey that will take time because it needs to be done properly. We face the reality that Ramsgate are in a relegation battle and the current priority is to ensure the club are playing this level of football in our next campaign.”

“To be able to do that, we need to strengthen in a few areas as some of the senior players have left the group. Any players that joins Ramsgate will need to understand the remit, our aims and that we have a strong ambition to encourage and develop young talent within our ranks.”

“I have good staff with me in Seb Tidey and Liam Taylor and I need to make sure I can implement our plans on the pitch and deliver the Chairman’s aims.”

“I am hopeful that together it can be enjoyable and hopefully the supporters get behind the philosophy we intend to put in place here.”

“The journey begins on Saturday, but I ask that everybody is mindful that we are at the very beginning of this journey and that not everything will go our way. It’s important to be patient but as I say, we have one priority right now and that’s to get as many points as possible for the rest of the season and so we will try. Fingers crossed you enjoy the game on the weekend.”

For more from Ramsgate please visit their website here

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