Beard will use his pro contacts and experience to lift Magpies

New Loxwood manager Mark Beard and now director of football Dave Cocoracchio
New Loxwood manager Mark Beard and now director of football Dave Cocoracchio
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New Loxwood manager Mark Beard will be using his professional experience and contacts to take the ambitious club to the next level.

The 40-year-old former Millwall, Sheffield United and Southend player takes the helm of the Magpies with Dave Cocoracchio in a new director of football role.

Beard, who runs the club’s successful under-18 academy and is a full-time coach is hoping to deliver on a five-year plan which includes getting into the Ryman League.

The seasoned midfielder’s last senior role was an 18-month spell of managing Tooting & Mitcham in 2010.

He said: “I am looking forward to it. I have watched them lots this season and know them inside out.

“I know their strengths and weaknesses and we do need to strengthen the squad in a couple of key areas. I have spoken to players that have played at a higher level and want to come in.

We have had meetings and there is a five-year plan. We want to be in the Rymans in at least three years, but if it happens in one year, fantastic.

Mark Beard

“I have got lots of contacts, but you have to be realistic. Anyone that I am looking to bring in will benefit the team, there is no point in bringing players in for the sake of it.

“We have had a great season, but I think it will be even harder next year with the quality of teams coming down.

“We have had meetings and there is a five-year plan. We want to be in the Rymans in at least three years, but if it happens in one year, fantastic.

“If not then it is a building programme and we have got long-term goals. All that matters is the club is ambitious and it has that goal of Ryman League football.”

Beard played for a number of non-league sides after his professional days including Kingstonian and AFC Wimbledon, and, after two years setting up a coaching academy in Spain and taking his badges, also had a year as Crawley Town’s youth team manager in 2012.

He added: “Dave is still very much part of the club and is going to be helping me look at players and with the ones we have got as he knows them well. I have a different coaching style to him as he didn’t really coach, but I will be heavily involved in the coaching side.”