As much as I love the scouting and the analysis, it doesn’t beat having a tracksuit and working with players, says coach Hugo Langton
PROFESSIONAL coach Hugo Langton says he is searching for a new club next season.
The 43-year-old lives in Tonbridge and has spent the past five years at National League South club’s Bromley, Eastbourne Borough and Welling United.
Hugo Langton was part of Mark Goldberg's management team at Bromley that won their first title in 54 years when the Ravens won the Conference South title in April 2015. The Hayes Lane club now look forward to their fourth season in the Vanarama National League next season.
He was part of Mark Goldberg’s management team when Bromley won the Conference South title in April 2015, the first time the Hayes Lane outfit had celebrated winning a title in 54 years.
He was then part of Tommy Widdrington’s Eastbourne Borough management team that won the Sussex Senior Cup in 2016, before he re-joined Goldberg at Welling United, before he parted company from the Park View Road club in January 2018 owing to a budget cut.
Prior to that he held manager/assistant manager roles at various Isthmian League clubs “learning his trade,” like when he was assistant manager at Ashford Town alongside now Gillingham manager Steve Lovell.
“I’ve been lucky overall in recent years as I’ve been at some great clubs,” said Langton.
“Bromley was a great time, we had a top side, especially the year we won it. We weren’t the best footballing team as such but we worked harder than anyone else and we had players who could produce moments to win games and we had a terrific changing room.
“I loved working with Tommy Widdrington at Eastbourne Borough. I wish I’d met him earlier in some ways as I felt we formed a great partnership. He allowed me to do my job and he trusted me massively, as I did him.
“We are still great friends now obviously and he’s just left Coventry City as head of recruitment to take up a similar role at Bristol Rovers.
“I look back on Welling with a lot of sadness if I’m honest. Welling never saw the best of me, nowhere near it! I felt I could never do my job properly for reasons I won’t go into.
“I probably let my heart rule my head in joining Welling and Mark Goldberg would probably say the same thing but Mark was great.
“I turned down better offers to go to Welling but it just didn’t work out. I love Mark to pieces and we will always be great friends. It just didn’t work out and that wasn’t Mark’s fault and it was right for me to leave when I did.
“I wish Mark and Welling nothing but success and we still talk regularly. I wanted to work with Jamie Coyle and he is going to be a top manager.
“I thought he coped well in his first full season as a manager. Jack Parkinson too will make a good manager one day but he’s got plenty of time on his side.”
When Tony Burman stepped down from his managers role at Dartford at the end of the season, they appointed Coyle and Adam Flanagan as joint-managers, Flanagan coming in from Concord Rangers, while Parkinson wasn’t offered a managerial role under new Welling boss Steve King, so has joined Sammy Moore as Concord Rangers’ player-coach.
Langton has been kept busy since leaving the Wings and his scouting business is going from strength-to-strength.
He said: “Since I left Welling in January I’ve been doing all sorts of things. Firstly, I’ve been making sure I improve myself. I’ve spent time on football club visits. I’ve been on League Managers Association coaching days and masterclasses and recently I’ve spent a week in Holland learning more about football fitness, tactics and learning how to think better under pressure, which was an unreal experience.
“I joined Tommy Widdrington again at Coventry and was a first team recruitment scout, so I’ve watched a lot of football, four games a week at all levels. That was great as I know more about players than I did before.
“Neil Smith at Bromley has always had my back too. He asked me to do the opposition video analysis for all his opponents so I put together clips on teams strengths and weaknesses and how they could win.
“Although I couldn’t get to Wembley, I was gutted for him and (chairman) Jerry Dolke. Jerry too had been a great friend to me in recent times and I’d loved for him and Smudger to have left Wembley with that cup.
“I run my own football consultancy that focuses mostly on opposition scouting so I teach guys how to do it and when they reach the required standard I rent them out to club’s around the country to watch upcoming opponents. It’s been growing over the last few years and hopefully will keep growing.”
Darren Lovell, who was Maidstone United’s secretary for many years, joined Langton’s scouting business and now scouts for Sky Bet League Two side Colchester United.
“Regarding my next role I’d like to return to a full-time role, in whatever capacity. That’s easier said than done though, but I’m happy to wait,” said Langton.
“That’s not to say if someone wanted to talk to me about working with them at a part-time club that I wouldn’t listen, because I would as a clubs vision is more important.
“I love football, I love coaching and I love being around a team. I love the pressure of matchday and having to think on your feet. I love pre-season too, building foundations.
“I’ve had a few people ask me to help them out, which I may do in pre-season but they think my heart wouldn’t be in it for the longer term but that’s not true.
“Where ever I end up next I just want to be able to do my job. I’ve been in non-league football for over 10 years now, I know how it works. I’ve got a lot of contacts and know a lot of players. I know how to win games too, more importantly.
“I’ll talk to and listen to anyone who wants a chat. I’ve had a few offers but I turned them down as it wasn’t right but you don’t know that until you listen to people. I’m not motivated by money, I’m motivated by winning.
“I’ve got plenty to keep my busy until I get a new club. I’ll work for Tommy again at Bristol Rovers and I’ll always help Neil and Jerry in whatever capacity they want me to at Bromley. As much as I love the scouting and the analysis, it doesn’t beat having a tracksuit and working with players.”