New Selsey boss Steve Bailey believes the Blues are ‘going in the right direction for the long-term future’ by appointing him as manager.
Bailey was announced as the new man in charge following the dismissal of Ryan Pharo and took charge of his first game on Saturday - a 4-2 defeat at Shoreham.
Selsey claim the change is driven by the shock withdrawal of Rye United from the County League as they wish to focus on developing their youth academy to stabilise their financial situation.
Bailey, who has been a major part of the Selsey Seals youth set-up for the past two years, said: “I’m very happy to have got the job and excited for the challenge ahead.
“I think the club are making the right decision in terms of the way they are going forward and in terms of youth development.
“We are going in the right direction for the long-term future of the club”.
Bailey has the additional challenge of replacing some of Selsey’s star names, who left the club following Pharo’s dismissal.
Billy Chatfield, Barney Covill, Dan Martin and Rob Wimble all signed for division-two outfit Midhurst while Matt Wood has returned to Pagham.
Bailey insisted that the situation remained civil saying: “I had a chat with all the players and they left on good terms. We wish them all the best.
“I’m very grateful for the ones that stayed, I can’t over-estimate their importance. They have a massive part to play in the future of the club.”
Bailey emphasised the importance of pre-season for Selsey saying: “We know it’s going to be difficult. It will be an immense time for the club but we have plenty of talented players.”
A battling display against Shoreham saw the Blues drag back a 3-0 half-time deficit to 3-2 before the home side added a fourth late on.
Goals from James Parsons and Callum Briton gave Selsey hope after they let in three inside 25 minutes and Bailey labelled it ‘a baptism of fire’ for some of his younger players.
Selsey’s face tough away matches at Dorking on Saturday and Ringmer next Tuesday.