Piatek positive ahead of step into first-team management

Tom Piatek has taken over as Rustington Football Club boss
Tom Piatek has taken over as Rustington Football Club boss

Tom Piatek is hoping his maiden venture into first-team football management will be a successful one.

The Polish 45-year-old has agreed to replace Trevor Waller, who is now Blues’ chairman, as manager at Rustington Football Club.

Despite possessing no managerial experience in first-team football, Piatek’s CV is still impressive.

The Pole spent three seasons in charge of Surrey side Hambledon’s reserve team, picking up six trophies in his time there, including the treble last season.

As well as his three years with Hambledon, Piatek has also had coaching roles at Shalford, Cramley and Godalming Town’s under-18 side.

Piatek, who moved to Littlehampton last year, admits last season’s treble will be something he can take confidence from heading into the campaign with Blues and said: “I’m very excited about the challenge that is ahead.

“This is a great opportunity for me and one I could not refuse. This will be my first time in charge of a first team and one I hope I can do well in.”

A poor start to last season cost Rustington as they finished ninth in Southern Combination League Division 2. That was after suffering relegation from Division 1 the previous season after they failed to meet league ground grading regulations.

Despite what could well be a tough test, Piatek is hopeful he can be the man to bring the good times back to Rustington.

He added: “I know it won’t be easy but I’m going to give it my all.

“I like to have a locally-based team, so I will have a look at the players we have here.

“There could be an option to bring some players from my old side but we will have to wait and see.

“After the success I had last year, I’m just hoping I am able to repeat something similar with Rustington.”

It is set to be a summer of change at Rustington with Piatek becoming first-team boss, while former manager Waller has taken over as chairman from John Virgoe.

Blues’ new Polish chief admitted Waller stepping up was a major factor in him taking the job.

He said: “I spoke with Trevor and I hope that we can have a good relationship.

“Trevor was manager for a while here and knows Rustington really well.

“I’m hoping we can help each other out and have great success with this team.”

Waller believes Blues’ new boss will be a success at the club and said: “We are pleased to get Tom on board and hope he does a good job.

“He’s new to the area but stood out in his interview and has an impressive record as a manager.

“Tom ticked all the boxes for us and hopefully he can push on on in the next few seasons.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge that awaits as chairman of this club.

“I know Rustington really well and want to give Tom as much support as possible in his role as manager.

“When I was managing I knew what sort of chairman I like to have, so hopefully I’ll be able to help Tom.”

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