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Club News


29 January 2014

Club News


29 January 2014

Academy Manager looking forward to working with former Gills striker who is returning to the club as Youth Coach

Academy Manager Darren Hare says he is delighted to have secured the services of Steve Lovell as U18 Youth Coach.

The former Gills striker will return to the club to help develop some of the younger players in the programme, and Darren said, alongside Mark Patterson, that the players couldn’t ask for three better people to aid their progress.

Speaking to the club website Darren explained why Steve was the stand out candidate:

“A number of reasons really,” he said. “First of all Steve has a vast amount of experience as a player and as a coach. He knows the club and understands the philosophy of the club.

“For me it was a perfect fit – he’s a great coach and has done wonders in the past and we are very lucky to have the opportunity to bring him back here and I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“His main job will be to coach and develop our under 18 youth players in conjunction with Mark and he will also have an input helping with the development squad players.

“If you’re a young player coming through the system at Gillingham, you couldn’t ask for three more experienced people to help you along the way.”

With Lovell having worked at the club before, Darren revealed their previous relationship was a factor in his overall decision.

He added: “For me good coaching isn’t all about being an ex-player but I think it helps and he is an ex-Welsh International and a Gillingham legend so he has an awful lot of experience as a player.

“Also he’s been a Manager at non-league level so he understands why it’s important to win games and while we keep saying this word development, we need to create winners out of our young players and I think Steve understands that and he knows that.

“He will add to what is already quite a comprehensive coaching programme for the youngsters.”

“That side of it is something they need to learn and I couldn’t think of anyone better to deliver that to them.

“Steve still lives in Rainham; he’s not far from me so that was quite important. We had over 100 applicants and some of them were excellent.

“It came down to a couple of people and it was a very difficult decision but having said that Steve was a front runner right from the word go and he has got all of the qualifications that are necessary.

“There is no training that he needs to do and you could argue his induction will be shorter than most because he knows the club.

“I know exactly what Steve brings to the table – I didn’t need to see him work, I didn’t need to see him put a session on. He brings a bit of quality, a bit of experience and the right amount of discipline to enable these young players to blossom.

“This is actually the second time I would have brought him back to the club. The first time I did I was leaving my role as Football in the Community Officer to become Head of Youth taking over from Simon Ratcliffe back in the day and I asked Steve to come and take over the Community scheme, which he did, and had around eight to ten very successful years doing that.

“He knows how the club works, the Chairman knows him well, he knows the Chairman and he knows all of the staff. For me it was an easy decision in the end among some very talented candidates.”

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