Returning Hand takes interim charge at struggling Golds

Mitchell Hand in action for Littlehampton Town. Picture by Liz Pearce LP1502429
Mitchell Hand in action for Littlehampton Town. Picture by Liz Pearce LP1502429

Mitchell Hand has been named Littlehampton Town Football Club interim manager until the end of the season.

The 25-year-old, whose spent the vast majority of the season at Bostik League South Shoreham, returns to Golds after Ady Baker's resignation on Boxing Day.

Littlehampton find themselves in a precarious position heading into 2018. Golds are five points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Southern Combination League Premier Division.

The role will be Hand’s first step into senior management but believes working alongside Steve Tabor and James Askew, they can get things back on track.

He said: “I’m working closely with the board to find the best solution possible for the club, whether there is someone out there who is better equipped and interested, who knows?

“We know how unpredictable football is and, if someone becomes available that is better to maintain the club’s league status then myself, I’ll do everything to make that happen.

“At the minute my focus is on preparing a team for Newhaven on Saturday, so you could say we’re taking it game-by-game.”

This may be Hand’s first venture as a manager but he does have experience coaching Brighton & Hove Albion age-group teams.

Hand, 25, was part of the Golds team that won the SCFL title back in 2015 and holds the club close to his heart.

Between himself and assistants Steve (Tabor) and James (Askew) they have over ten years' at The Sportsfield, something which Hand feels will stand them in good stead.

He added: “Although inexperienced, I feel myself, Steve (Tabor) and James (Askew) have a good understanding of the club. Between the three of us, we’ve been at the club in some capacity over the last ten years. With the knowledge James has of the day-to-day running, Steve’s knowledge of the current squad and my ability to bring in some new faces - we strongly believe we can compete and move up the table.”

Hand admits fresh faces are needed - which he'll be looking to address - but also insists there is a more than capable crop of players to put things right at the club.

“If you look at the players signed for the club, it’s an impressive squad,” Hand said.

“Ady (Baker) wasn’t able to access the full squad of players due to work commitments and injuries, so my first job is to bring back as many of those faces as possible. With a few new additions I’m hoping we will have a squad capable of staying in this division.

“I’ll be calling in a few favours, though, for sure!”

With Golds currently five points adrift, Hand knows the importance of the squad starting well under him - which begins at home to Newhaven on Saturday.

He said: “Although the league position suggests otherwise, we’re not hitting the panic button as of yet.

“There’s something special about this club, it never knows when it is beat. That’ll be something we’ll be drilling into the players as we enter the second half of the season.”