PAUL ETTRIDGE is looking forward to the challenge ahead after being named East Preston Football Club’s head coach on Saturday.
The 38-year-old joins EP from Lewes, where he coached the under-18 team last season and replaces Sammy Donnelly, who left as EP manager at the end of last season.
Ettridge has previously coached at Steyning Town and Lancing and played in the Ryman League for Worthing and in the Sussex County League for Shoreham, Southwick, Lancing and Mile Oak.
On taking up the role at The Lashmar, he said: “This is a great opportunity to work with a club focused on progressing both on and off the field.
“I’m looking forward to it. I have already spoken to a number of good players about EP and I am confident we will attract a strong group of youth and experience, which will bring success on the field.
“A lot of the players I’ve spoken to are keen to come here but, until they’ve put pen to paper, you never know.
“I also want to keep the players who are already at the club and we’ll be looking to have a good season.”
On his aims for the upcoming season, Ettridge, who is studying to become a UEFA B licenced coach, said: “We’ll be looking to have a good season. I’m not going to say we’re looking to finish here or there because then that brings added pressure.
“I’ll just be looking to finish as high as possible.”
East Preston will run squads at under-18 and under-16 level next season and Ettridge said: “It will be good to have the under-18 and under-16 squads next season and the club is looking at having an under-21 side for the following season, which will be ideal.”
East Preston football chairman Terry Doyle said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul to EP.
“We were looking for a coach determined to prove themselves at first-team level in the County League and to work with us to rebuild the football infrastructure at the club.
“We have first-class facilities at EP and we are determined to attract good local players and move up to the Ryman League.
“We are confident Paul will help us to move the club forward.”
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