I will be building the club from top to bottom, says new Deres boss Matt Longhurst
Longhurst, 33, resigned as the manager of Corinthian on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May 2014, just hours after the club lost 2-0 to Beckenham Town in the Macron Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Final at Bromley’s Hayes Lane.
Corinthian went into the record books for becoming the first club to suffer three successive League Cup defeats after previously losing to VCD Athletic and Erith & Belvedere, but Longhurst guided the club to fourth and fifth-placed finishes, without a playing budget, in the last two seasons.
Erith & Belvedere parted company with Chris Cosgrove on Thursday, 1 May, following a disasterous first season in the Ryman League.
The Park View Road club finished at the foot of the Division One North table with six wins, four draws and 36 defeats from their 46 league games.
The Deres clinched the Kent League double under former boss Micky Collins 12 months earlier, but he stepped down 12 days after beating Longhurst’s Corinthian in the League Cup Final at Park View Road due to budget restraints.
Erith & Belvedere installed Cosgrove and Martin Ford as joint-managers, but Ford confirmed that he was “sacked” by the club on 7 October 2013, prompting his son Joe, a coach, to resign.
Erith & Belvedere sat in thirteenth-place in the Ryman League Division One North table at the time, having collected four wins and three draws from their opening thirteen games.
However, the club suffered a disastrous run of form under Cosgrove’s sole charge and in 34 games in charge on his own, the club won two, drew two and lost 30 games in all competitions.
The club suffered some poor results too, including a 10-1 defeat away to Thurrock on 13 February, which culminated in the club conceding 137 league goals in 46 games.
“We are delighted to welcome Matt to the club and we believe that Matt is the man to guide the club to success in the Southern Counties East Football League next season,” said a club statement, which was posted on the club’s website at 09:30 this morning.
The Deres will also be welcoming back defender Sam Groombridge, who will come in as assistant manager.
"I am extremely proud to be announced as the manager of Erith & Belvedere,” Longhurst said in his statement, posted on www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk.
“I have joined the club after holding lengthy discussions with the board yesterday and I feel that this is a great opportunity to take the next step in my management career.
“The biggest thing that drew me to the club is the fact that I will be building the club from top to bottom, with a youth set up from u18s down, a under 21 side and a academy set up in place next season, the club also has an excellent fan base and brilliant facilities which will be a draw when brining players into the club.
“The management team will be myself as first team manager, Sam Groombridge as my assistant while Paul Springett and Lee Barnet will be player/coaches.
“We are currently is discussions with Darren Mace in regards to him staying on in his role as goalkeeper coach and his role in developing the U21 and academy set up.
"I look forward to getting started and the hard work starts today."
The club said they will confirm their pre-season friendlies and new signings on their website in due course.
Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk