Bob Paine has taken his impressive management credentials to Pagham – and has already got stuck into the task.
The former Sussex Senior Cup winner and East Preston manager has taken over at Nyetimber Lane following the surprise departure of Tom Simmonds, who had taken over as sole manager only two months earlier following his fellow joint boss Riche Hellen’s decision to step down.
He took his first Lions pre-season training session on Tuesday night and aims to boost the squad then try to ensure they finish in the top half of the SCFL premier division.
Paine started his playing career at Worthing and later had spells at Lancing, Horsham YMCA, Storrington and Steyning. While at Steyning, who were playing in the Combined Counties League, he was captain when they won the Sussex Senior Cup at the Goldstone in 1989 versus Hastings Town.
Steyning asked him to start an U18 team and a couple of seasons later he was offered the first team job when Steyning went back into the Sussex League. He also managed Storrington in the County League.
In 2014 he took over Worthing’s new U21 squad in the Ryman Development League. They finished fourth and the following season won the south division and went on to win the champions play-off game.
At the end of that season he was offered the manager’s job at East Preston. They had just been relegated from the SCFL premier and only had one team.
Paine said: “I started a rebuilding job and we were promoted back to the premier division in the first season as well as starting an U21 team.
“In the second season we started an U18 side and consolidated our position in the premier division. I’m immensely proud of the job me and my management team did at EP and have left them in a far more sustainable position on the pitch than when I joined.”
Talking about his new challenge, Paine told us: “Pagham have always been a club I’ve admired as I’ve always had a friendly welcome there and they clearly have a hard-working committee under the leadership of chairman Tony O’Shea.
“The other bonus is the playing surface which will suit how I like my teams to play! It’s been like a breath of fresh air since I got the job on Friday – the support from Tony and his team has been second to none which will allow me to concentrate on the football side of the club.
“Clearly we have had to hit the ground running given we were only appointed on Friday. It has been a bit manic since then but we started pre-season on Tuesday night.
“I’m pleased with where we are given the short amount of time we have had. I’ve spoken to most of the current Pagham squad and of course we are looking to bring players in to improve and enhance what we already have.
“The club is in a period of transition and I think a top ten finish given where we are right now would be a satisfactory start to my tenure.
“The club now have three U18 teams and the U23 team which will be used to give the better U18s the required development in the U23s along with those senior players who need some game time for whatever reason.
“I will treat players how I liked to been treated as a player – it’s a clean slate for all the players. If they show a good attitude, want to listen and learn from the coaching team, work hard in training, prepare properly and play well on the pitch, it gives them a great chance to be in the team.”
Paine will be joined by coaches Craig Stuart and Tom Henton at Pagham.