Lee Brace has been handed the reins at the helm of Worthing Football Club after an impressive stint as caretaker manager.
Having taken over on a part-time basis when Chris White quit last month, Brace has been rewarded for his instant impact at Woodside Road with his first senior appointment.
With three wins in four matches since taking up the temporary role, he was confirmed as the new manager after victory over Crawley Down Gatwick in the Ryman League Cup on Tuesday.
Brace, who managed Whitehawk’s youth side last season, came in as White’s assistant at the start of the season and has seen off a number of local high profile and well-known candidates to land the role.
He and the club are now looking at the long-term future, with plans for the youth set-up, as they build towards a new vision over the next few seasons.
Brace believes there is no pressure on the side this season, but admits, despite this, they have the quality to achieve a top-six finish.
He said: “I had a meeting with the club last night (Monday), they offered me the position and I gratefully accepted.
“There was tough competition for it as there are some really good, quality managers out there at the moment, who applied.
“There has been nothing but positivity from the players and there has been no pressure on them from me. I just want everyone to enjoy playing their football.
“This season, with this squad, we have to finish in the top half. The top six wouldn’t be beyond us, but I am not going to put that pressure on them.
“The board haven’t put that pressure on me, there is no pressure to get results from the board on me. My appointment wasn’t a question of recent results. It’s the players that have got the results, not us, when they cross over the white line, it’s down to them.”
The new boss has already signalled his belief in the club’s youth by handing a number of youngsters a place in the starting XI – where they have all impressed. He is also hoping to add an under-21 side to the club next season to continue the work of progressing youngsters.
Brace added: “We have a good squad and the difficulty is for us to manage that now and keep everyone happy.
“We have a vision well beyond this season and I’m a manager that will give youth a chance. We have a great quality of young players in Sussex and I will be trying to blood them into the side.
“I am hoping to underpin the youth section and be a link between them, as the youngsters are the future.”
More in this week’s Worthing Herald.