New Billingshurst boss will use local blueprint as guide

Billingshurst FC. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150421-193108001
Billingshurst FC. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150421-193108001

New Billingshurst manager Adie Konieczny believes his knowledge of the club’s ethos means he is well placed to help to them into senior football.

The former Petworth and West Sussex Football League representative side boss was appointed a last week having been coaching within its junior set up.

New Billingshurst boss Adrian Konieczny

New Billingshurst boss Adrian Konieczny

He ran Billingshurst’s under-15s in 2012 and led them to back-to-back undefeated league campaigns and was recently put back in contact with chairman Kev Tilley and former manager Mark Betts with things developing from there.

The club has made no secret of its aim to climb the ranks in the County League and with his West Sussex League past – having a taken Petworth from Division 2 to the Premier in three seasons, Konieczny believes local side Loxwood, who also have a rich history in the WSFL, provide a shining example for his new side.

And the 41-year-old, from Petworth, is not worried about his prolonged break from running a front side, he said: “I believe in myself. Ultimately, although teams generally speaking are only as good as its players, the manager has a very big role to play.

“I am confident that I will do the best I can. I have had relatively success at a slightly lower standard, but I have motivated teams and players to play for me - I am hoping to do that.

“The blueprint are Loxwood really. They were down in the West Sussex League and have shot up to county one, they do have funding, but that should be the blueprint for Billingshurst, to keep kicking on.”

After losing Paul Cooper and Steve Barrow to Crawley Down Gatwick midway through last season just months after their appointment, Hurst were keen not to suffer the same fate again.

Konieczny added: “Mark and Kev wanted to get someone involved who has not got a hidden agenda, who is local and knows what they want to achieve in the long-term.

“It’s got good foundations and over the next few years, the plan is to utilise the youth team with some promising local talent and step up into senior football.

“It has been a difficult couple of years, but the club is in good hands and the aim is to get up (the divisions).”

The former County League player knows a couple of former youth players, but other than that, Konieczny will be working from a blank canvas, “I do not really know many of them,” he added.

“The first aim is to see what we have got and then, along with Mark and one or two others, strengthen the team with a few decent players.

“It’s really early days in the close season. Pre-season starts in a month and until that time a lot of players do not like to commit.

“They will talk to you, but want to know what their mates are doing and we have not got thousands of pounds to spend, we want players that commit, not ones that want to be thrown £50, but those that want to play for their local team, and if not local, then a team with good facilities that is going places.”

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