Funnell named Worthing United’s new manager

Simon Funnell is Worthing United's new manager
Simon Funnell is Worthing United's new manager

Simon Funnell is looking forward to the challenge ahead after being named Worthing United Football Club’s new manager.

Funnell takes over from Nigel Geary, who left the club on Saturday, and says his only target this season is to ensure Mavericks stay in the Southern Combination League Premier Division.

Funnell has previously guided East Grinstead into the Ryman League South Division, before a disappointing spell in charge of Shoreham last season.

On taking over at Worthing United, he said: “It’s a big challenge ahead but that’s what appeals to me.

“There will be new players coming in but all the players at the club already will get a chance as I want to see what they can do. I’m not going to come in and say you 11 are out and you 11 are in, everyone will have their chance to show why they should be in the side.

“The club is third from bottom and needs to start picking up points. It’s in freefall a bit at the moment, so my job is to make sure we stay in the league and then we’ll look to build each season.

“When I took over at East Grinstead, the team were third from bottom and we finished eighth that season. I’m not saying that’s going to happen here this year but we then finished sixth the following season, before we were promoted in my third year there.

“We’ve got a two-or-three-year plan here and we’ll look to keep building each year.

“If we finish fourth from bottom this year, I’d take that right now as it would mean we’re not going down. But we want to finish as high as we can and I’ll be looking to achieve the club’s highest-ever finish in the league while I’m here and also look to reach the Ryman League.”

Funnell’s last managerial job was at Shoreham last season and he said: “That was disappointing.

“If I’m honest, the team that was there, on paper, was very good but the players let me down and they know that.

“Only one or two of those players will be coming to play for me here and I’m looking forward to being at a different club, with different players and a different challenge.”

Matt Drew will be Funnell’s coach at Mavericks and the new manager, who will meet United’s players at Lyons Way tonight, said: “Matt is a newly-qualified UEFA B coach and he’s going to put on some great sessions for the boys. He will help improve anyone who wants to learn and work hard.”

United chairman Steve Taylor said: “Simon has experience of managing in this division and in the Ryman League and will hopefully take us to the next level.

“We do not want to go down this season as we’ve always been known as a yo-yo club. Our highest-ever finish is 14th and we want to push on and try to better that, so there’s exciting times ahead.”

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