Less than 24 hours after sacking manager Matty Blythe, Shortwood United have moved swiftly to announce a new management team.
Shortwood chairman Bill Reay has appointed former Stonehouse Town boss Ian Soule, who returns for a second spell, with current player Lewis Fogg named as his assistant.
A statement from chairman Reay said: “Shortwood United are delighted to announce with immediate effect the appointments of Ian Soule and Lewis Fogg to the positions of First Team Manager and First Team Assistant Manager respectively.
“Ian brings with him a vast experience of local football management and coaching having previously enjoyed roles with several clubs in the area including Stonehouse Town and more recently at Shortwood UFC, while Lewis is a member of our first-team squad and has well-established links with Aston Villa and Gloucester City. A further announcement relating to the appointment of first team coach is imminent.
“It is hoped that the new management team will utilise their contacts to attract a number of new players with which to strengthen the existing squad and supplement the stream of homegrown talent coming through our successful youth and Reserve teams. It is additionally hoped to make an immediate impact by making the best use of Ian’s highly regarded coaching qualifications to improve tactical on field play and fitness levels.
“Shortwood United remain an ambitious outfit with the objective of achieving Hellenic Premier League status as a major priority.
“I will attend Monday night’s training session to introduce the new management team to the players and answer any questions or concerns the players may have in respect to these changes.
“I will also take this opportunity to pay tribute to Matty Blythe and his management team of Neil Long and Josh Loveridge for their combined contribution over the past few years. The Club fully recognise the difficult circumstances from which they have had to operate, given the effects of the Covid epidemic, and have given nothing short of their very best at all times during their period of tenure.
“It has been a disappointing season for all associated with the club, having started with such high hopes, we find ourselves languishing in the lower half of the table with our progress stagnated despite the introduction of a number of new initiatives that were hoped to stimulate on field performance. On field performance has been of primary concern due to the increasingly defensive tactics adopted of late.
“In consequence, the Club has decided to act immediately in an effort to stem any decline and ensure the best use of the remainder of the season.”