New manager Neathey ready for the challenge at Loxwood and is backed to succeed

Outgoing Loxwood manager Dave Cocoracchio and replacement Gareth Neathy (right) in the dugout earlier in the season. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-171123-105219001
Outgoing Loxwood manager Dave Cocoracchio and replacement Gareth Neathy (right) in the dugout earlier in the season. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-171123-105219001

Gareth Neathey has been backed to continue the good work at Loxwood when he takes over as the new first team manager at the end of the season.

The Magpies’ current assistant manager and under-18 and youth coach will be replacing Dave Cocoracchio at Plaistow Road, who has announced he is stepping down due to personal reasons.

Cocoracchio has spent seven years at the club in the capacity as both manager and director of football and latterly both.

Neathey has been at the club for four years in a coaching capacity and spent this season as Cocoracchio’s assistant and he will take sole control after Saturday’s final game of the season.

The incoming manager has been backed by new chairman Mark Lacey and also Cocoracchio.

Lacey, who is replacing Barry Hunter at the end of the season, said: “We fully understand Dave’s reasons for stepping down and we wish him every future success. Dave has been instrumental in helping me find a suitable replacement and I am delighted to announce that Gareth Neathey will become the clubs new first team manager.

“Gareth has been a part of team management at the club for four years now, both in the youth and senior sections, where he supported Dave as assistant manager to both the first team and under-18s this season.

“Gareth is local and knows county league football well, both as a player and manager. More importantly, Gareth knows Loxwood well, our DNA and our ambitions as a club and I believe he will bring important continuity to the role, something we really value.”

Cocoracchio added: “The club wanted to ensure continuity moving forward and I could not leave my role in better hands than Gareth. He has worked with me for a number of years now, has made such a positive impact with the players this season and I know he will take the club forward and do a wonderful job.

Neathey himself feels the time is right for him to take charge and is excited by the new challenge. He said: “Taking over from Dave is not going to be easy as he has done so much for the club over the years on and off the field.

“I’d personally like to thank him for his support over the years, and in making my decision to become first team manager. I’d like to wish him all the best for the future.

“Having coached in the youth set up, under-18s and first team, becoming first team manager is something I’ve wanted to do and feel it’s the right time. I would like to thank Loxwood FC for giving me this opportunity.

“I know it’s going to be hard work but I’m ready for the challenge ahead and can’t wait to get started.”