New boss Daren Pearce is relishing the challenge of leading Selsey FC into a new era – and he will have the considerable football knowledge of Martin Hinshelwood to call on.
Pearce has taken over from Steve Bailey at the High Street Ground as the club look to invest in their youth system and get back to the top division of the Southern Combination League.
They’ll run an under-18 side next season – with Dales Hayes appointed to manage it – and bosses believe the future is bright.
Pearce said: “I took the job after speaking to (Selsey chairman) David Lee. I was stepping down at the end of the season from Sidlesham as chairman and manager as I was doing pretty much everything and wanted to concentrate on becoming a better manager and coach and not have to worry about all the other things.
“The time was right for me to move on and having played at Selsey, which I enjoyed immensely, I know they’re a great club and run in the right way and with a youth set-up, which is a must for players to progress as they move up through the years.
“It was a no-brainer for me to take up the approach.”
It’s a family club at Selsey with a lovely atmosphere and decent crowd numbers. The pitch and facilities are good and I’m looking forward to getting started.Daren Pearce
“There’s a natural route now at Selsey for lads to move up through the age groups into the under-18s and, if they’re good enough, into the first-team squad. You need an under-18 team or reserves – you can’t just have a first team.
“Good youngsters can benefit the first team and we want to build things up year on year.
“It’s a family club at Selsey with a lovely atmosphere and decent crowd numbers. The pitch and facilities are good and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Pearce’s appointment was followed by news Martin Hinshelwood has agreed to assist the club.
Chairman Lee believes the move will help enormously with his vision to continue to promote football for all at youth level while ensuring players are given the right coaching to develop their games.
Lee said: “Martin will be a tremendous asset to the club. I have the utmost respect for him and I’m so pleased he has agreed to help us.”
Selsey’s aim, over time, is to get back to the top division of the SCFL and Lee added: “We don’t have any specific timescale in place, but of course, I’d like to be back in the top flight at some stage.
“The plan is still to try to develop the younger players. We need a strong youth section which should help keep producing players for our senior sides. I want to see us develop a senior team that is good enough to get us up and to keep us in the SCFL premier.
“I would like to see that side stay together for a long time and be successful with a manager who is also in it for the longevity. This is something Daren is also committed to. I feel that with the appointments we have made and the positive feel around the club we will make steps in the right direction.”
Hinshelwood has had a distinguished career in the professional game and lives close to the club and is a former player. Two other members of the Hinshelwood family – Danny and Adam – have both managed the Blues, while Danny, Scott, Marc and Paul played for them.
Martin Hinshelwood played for Crystal Palace, coached and managed Brighton and Crawley and become chief scout at Pompey. More recently he has been working as a scout for Stoke City.
Lee said Hinshelwood had always shown an interest in the club.
Lee said: “I want as many players from Selsey representing the club as possible. I am also keen to invite any young player from outside Selsey to come to the club.
“While we have many good young players in Selsey, we do not have sufficient to really challenge in the highest leagues. With
the introduction of more players we will be much stronger.
“As a charter standard community club, we have a responsibility to ensure football is played by all. However, we also have a duty to players to give them the best coaching that we can.
“I have spoken to Martin about this and asked him for his ideas. He is of the opinion we can provide coaching for all while making sure we develop the better players”.
Hinshelwood said: “I am keen to help Selsey wherever I can. I will happily come along to training sessions, speak to the coaches and even put sessions on when I can.
Selsey is a super football club and there are a lot of talented young players there. It is only right they are given the chance to become better players, and who knows, move on to bigger and better things.”
Hinshelwood has spoken to new boss Pearce, who said: “I am excited Martin has agreed to help the club. I will certain learn a lot from him.”
Meanwhile Hayes will be Selsey’s under-18 manager for next season. The side will play in the Southern Combination.
Selsey have a number of boys stepping up from the under-16s. Hayes ran the under-18 side at Sidlesham in the season just ended and guided them to second place. He is set to take the majority of his squad to Selsey and is keen to mix these in with players already at Selsey.
Hayes said: “I’m pleased Selsey have recognised my ability to help develop the younger players. The club have very good facilities, a good playing surface and a history in the SCFL. I’m already looking forward to next year and to be able to continue working with Daren Pearce.”
Pearce will oversee the running of the under-18s and has also got Ben Richer involved to help.
Pearce added: “Dale is a good coach and somebody I’m sure will see the players are taught how to play the game properly and in a disciplined manner.”
* Pearce’s move from Sidlesham to Selsey has proved to be half a job swap – for the former Selsey boss Steve Bailey has been appointed to replace Pearce at Sids. Gary Crees and Nic Nolan will join his staff.
Read more on this in the Observer in the coming weeks.