New Loxwood boss Alex Walsh is looking forward to the challenge of taking the Magpies out of the SCFL Premier Division relegation zone.
Walsh joins the Plaistow Road outfit from Bostik League South East side Haywards Heath Town to replace Gareth Neathey, who stepped down to increased work commitments.
The ex-Heath man has further experience managing the Lewes FC Academy and high-profile roles within Brighton & Hove Albion’s Academy.
The new manager said: “I made the decision to go into men’s football this season from Lewes and I went over to Haywards Heath as an assistant and I really enjoyed my time there.
“I saw this opportunity and I thought it was a great challenge. I just want to be working in first-team football and as a manager because I feel that’s where I want to be and what I want to do.
“It’s a good, organised family club and I love a challenge and I want to make sure I get this club out of the relegation zone.”
Nathan Bowen has also joined the club as Walsh’s first team assistant manager.
He spent 12 years coaching at Brighton & Hove Albion, is the assistant manager at Worthing FC’s Academy and is regional director at The Volenti Academy.
Walsh said: “Nathan is a good person to have around the group. He is a positive, vibrant person and gets the best out of players as well.
“He’s like myself; very honest and if it’s not good enough we’ll let them know. His knowledge of football is very good, especially in the local area, and he’s played and coached at a good level.”
Walsh is keen to continue Loxwood’s philosophy of playing youngsters, praising the work of under-18s boss Matt Camp, who will now also be assisted by Neathey, but felt the addition of experienced players will benefit his side.
He said: “The ones that are doing really well come up and train with us in the first team so we will keep that ethos of bringing youth through into the first team.
“The work Matt is doing in the under-18s is brilliant. We have a good rapport with him and the players know that they will be getting looked at and watched at all times.
“We will be looking to bring a bit of experience. We need that experience as well as the youth and we’re going to try to get the mix right.”