Sunday 10th July 2005

Lovell committed to Sittingbourne

Sittingbourne manager Steve Lovell insists he is committed to the Southern League Division One club, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Welshman works for League One side Gillingham as well as managing the Bourne Park outfit.

And when asked in an interview with Sittingbourne's website if Darren Hare leaving the Gills will make any difference to his commitment to the Brickies, Lovell replied: "No, not at all. 

"It might have done as the chairman was quite keen on me taking over but the new Gillingham manager (Neale Cooper) has brought in his own team and I'll continue with my current role at Gillingham, which doesn't affect Saturdays."

And Lovell is looking forward to the new season with Sittingbourne, having returned to the club earlier in the year.

"I believe that the squad last year was a very good one and a little more organisation and better fitness then we could have done well so the majority of the squad will be the same.

"There are a couple of players who I am likely to bring in, a full-back and a right sided player, and my son Mark, who has resumed training after injury so he should be available.

"I'm also speaking to a couple of other players but not a lot will be done until the pre-season games begin."

But Lovell admitted Ryan Peters and Charlie Belcher will be hitting the high notes elsewhere.

He revealed: "I spoke to Ryan on Friday and he is a very, very good singer, and Charlie is also a good singer who is away on a contract at the moment singing in Cyprus.

"They are two very talented young men and unfortunately for us they have good careers ahead of them singing.

"Charlie may be back in a couple of months so we will have to wait and see."

And Lovell, whose squad reported back to pre-season training at Mote Park in Maidstone yesterday, will be aiming for a place in the play-offs.

"The squad that we have got is a young team who still have a bit to learn," he said.

"It's a very good dressing room with a good atmosphere.

"We've got players who are at the club for the football and no other reason and that's something that a lot of other clubs can't manage.

"If we can get a good start then I think we will be up there or thereabouts at the end of the season and we are certainly aiming for the play-offs."

Lovell praised the club's following - both young and old, adding: "This is my fourth time at Sittingbourne and I love the football club and part of the reason is the support.

"They are very vocal and get behind the team and that's very important, especially the youngsters.

"I think that if we do get a good start that will bring in a lot more support through the gate."