Isthmian League

Nethercott named Swifts Manager

Heybridge Swifts have quickly filled the hole left by departing manager Karl Duguid by appointing his number two, Stuart Nethercott.

Former Totthenham and Millwall defender Nethcott, 47, has previous managerial experience at Maldon and Ware, and arrived at Swifts after being part of the management team at local rivals Coggeshall Town.

His appointment is in-keeping with a method of continuity at Swifts. When Jody Brown stepped down as manager two years ago, his No 2 Duguid stayed on as assistant to new first team manager Julian Dicks. Duguid stepped up when Dicks left for West Brom, and now Nethercott has succeeded Duguid.

Nethercott will also retain the management team he worked with under Duguid, in the shape of Ryan Handley, James Good, Michael Pulfoed and Stuart Bevis.

Swifts chairman Gary White said: “Our committee have moved quickly to appoint Karl successor.

“We took the view the club has a settled structure of good quality coaches and support staff and that team would likely to be broken up if a new man was brought in from outside.

“We feel any club needs stability in terms of its structure in order to deliver an overall strategy and key to that is continuity.

“In much the same way as the old Liverpool FC ‘boot room’ philosophy of the 1970s and ’80s which brought at least four top class managers, we feel that is a good strategy.

“Too often in football new managers bring in new ideas and personnel, staff and players – often paying little attention to the excellent resources already there.

“We did not want to take that risk, given we already have a strong playing squad with fierce competition for places in the starting XI, which is healthy all round.

“Stuart had an excellent career in the pro game and featured as a centre back for Swifts 19 times in the 2006/07 season towards the end of his playing career, before management roles at Maldon and Ware.

“He also made eight England Under-21 appearances, and recently he was a coach at Coggeshall Town before joining to be assistant to Karl at the start of the now aborted 2019/20 season.

“He can be assured of a strong coaching team around him in Ryan Handley, James Good, Pully and Bevo, who have all pledged their future to the club too.

“It is of course an unusual time to be appointed manager, given that we are unable to train and get together as a team, but we felt it was right to consider all options but then promote from within.

“We had a very good number of applications, even though we did not formally request any, and many of these came from talented young coaches, eager to progress further in the game.

“That to me proves what a good club we have at the Swifts, with a clear playing style and philosophy, a great fan base and tremendous unity between the junior and senior clubs.

“Stuart’s ability and experience in working with younger players was a key factor in his appointment.

“This will be important as the club moves towards young player development inline with the excellent youth set up under Steve Spreadbury, which now includes the Under-19 Academy side and new Under 23 set up, which will compete in the midweek Isthmian League from the start of the new season.

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