‘Hopeful we’ll turn things around very quickly’ – New Sandhurst Town boss Ian Selley

Ian Selley at former club Chertsey Town. Photo: Hannah Cooper.
Ian Selley at former club Chertsey Town. Photo: Hannah Cooper.

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It’s been just under two weeks since Ian Selley and Ryan Northmore rolled in to Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division One side Sandhurst Town.

The duo were appointed on Sunday 13th September after the sudden departure of former QPR coach Ben Nwachukwu, announced the previous evening, and were thrust immediately into action against Fleet Spurs two days later, a match that saw the Fizzers beaten 3-1.

Selley of course, you’ll have seen the headlines on this site and others, is a former European Cup Winner’s Cup winner with Arsenal, starting the Gunners 1994 victory over Italian side Parma and spoke to Football in Berkshire about his and his co-manager Northmore’s decision to join the Fizzers: “I’ve known Ryan a long time, he’d been at Weston-super-Mare and set up the Academy there. We’ve been looking for a club to join where we can bring through young players. The ground at Larges Lane where we are at the moment and the overall project ticked a lot of boxes.”

“We decided to go to the job on Thursday or Friday last week. It’s a young team with a number of injuries, we’re still working out what we’ve got. It was a shame we weren’t able to get a training session in before Tuesday nights game.

“It’s a big job but we’ve already got a few new faces in, but there’s a lot of work in front of us.”

Action from Chessington & Hook United vs Sandhurst Town. Photo: Andrew Batt.

For a young Sandhurst side, the immediate priority is points on the board and Selley has a number of different avenues to achieve that: “We have had a few boys in from Bracknell Town short term, we’re looking short term to get some players in from the levels above to help us get some points on the board. Longer-term we want to develop players at this club but it’s vital we get some points.

“Players coming in will certainly help us feel more comfortable in this role.”

Points might be the immediate short term concern but as Selley says, simply keeping Sandhurst off the bottom of the Combined Counties League isn’t all he and Northmore have arrived for: “Most of all, as I’ve said, we need points on the board here, we’ve spoken to managers and coaches at other clubs and we’re comfortable with the where we can go. We aren’t here just to finish near the bottom, we want to be pushing for that top four with four clubs at least going up.

“It’s important we get the mix right of young players and experience. We’re not worried, we’ve had conversations with clubs and players and we feel more comfortable here already.”

The ex-Arsenal midfielder also had a message for Fizzers fans in asking for patience, he said: “To the fans, we need to be patient, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes, 80% of players here are young, but they will have an opportunity. I’m hopeful and comfortable we’ll be able to turn things around very quickly.”

Sandhurst Town face Dorking Wanderers Reserves on Saturday (3 pm) at Larges Lane in the league. A full list of all the weekend fixtures is here.

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