New Bexhill United joint manager Nigel Kane is aiming to lift the football club up to the level which he believes it should be playing at.
Kane and Ryan Light were appointed last weekend to succeed Marc Munday, who resigned at the end of last season, and Kane believes there’s plenty of potential at the Southern Combination League Division One club.
“It astonishes me that Bexhill operate at the level they do bearing in mind over 40,000 people live in the town,” said Kane. “We want to get Bexhill back to the level we think they should be playing.
“Eventually we want to be competing with Hastings - that may sound a million miles away at the moment, but look at what Eastbourne Borough achieved.”
The new duo’s first task will be to improve on last term when Bexhill finished fourth-from-bottom after losing their last eight games.
“We want to be aiming to finish as high up that league as we can,” continued Kane. “First and foremost we’ve got to make ourselves harder to beat and stop conceding so many goals. That’s going to involve a lot of hard work on the training pitch, the squad being more organised, more disciplined and fitter.
“They’ve had a dreadful few months and only won two games in 2016. We’ve got to try and inject a little bit of positivity and instil a winning mentality.”
Kane, originally from the Newcastle area, has the more managerial experience of the new partnership. He led Hastings United to promotion from Ryman League Division One South via the play-offs in 2007 during his first spell in charge and kept the club in the same division during a four-month second stint at the helm last year.
Known for his attention to detail and fondness for statistics, Kane has also been head of football development and manager of the development squad (under-21s) at Hastings.
Light, who’s been away on holiday this week, is widely regarded as a very good coach. Most of his work at senior level has come in a coaching capacity at clubs such as St Leonards, Rye United, Eastbourne United AFC, Eastbourne Town and Hastings, whom he was with until the end of last season.
Light did, however, enjoy a pretty successful stint as manager of Rye in 2004, leading them to a second place finish in Sussex County League Division One, as the league was then known, matching the highest finish in the club’s history.
“Ryan and myself compliment each other really well,” continued Kane. “He’s got a different skillset to mine, and he’s very passionate about the game and very knowledgable as well. We’ve worked together successfully in the past.
“He’s very much going to be involved in the management side of the football club. He will still have a hand in the coaching, but we will be appointing a first team coach to run the sessions.”
Bexhill chairman Bill Harrison said: “They’ve got good track records and I’m sure we will have a good season. I think they’ll give everyone a chance and they’re youth-minded as well, not that that’s the be all and end all, but there are some good young lads coming through.
“They won’t just be first team managers; they will be football club managers, which will mean the under-21s, under-18s, right the way through to the youngsters.”
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