I've got more tools to play with at VCD than I did at Thamesmead, says Keith McMahon
NEWLY-APPOINTED VCD Athletic manager Keith McMahon says he will sit down with his new chairman tomorrow night to discuss the club’s direction for next season.
McMahon, 42, was unveiled as the club’s new manager today to replace Tony Russell, who quit the club earlier in the month to drop down a division to manage Ryman League Division One North side Cray Wanderers.
RETURN: Keith McMahon has been unveiled as VCD Athletic's new manager.
Photo: Thamesmead Town FC
Russell, 36, kept Vickers’ in the Ryman Premier League after winning their last six league games of the season to finish their inaugural campaign at that level in eighteenth-place.
McMahon is delighted to return to the club where he started his managerial career.
It was Kent football’s worst kept secret when speculation linked Russell to the Cray Wanderers job and McMahon was going to be his replacement at Oakwood.
McMahon said: “I’m pleased to be back in football.
“When you say it was the biggest secret there were just rumours going around more than anything because me and Gary Rump, the chairman of VCD, didn’t even speak once about the job until Tony had left the club.
“It’s a club that I had a lot of time for. It’s a club I started at before I was at Thamesmead. I was there for six years. It’s good to be back somewhere you know.”
McMahon has a years’ experience of managing in the Ryman Premier League, although he couldn’t keep Thamesmead Town after just one season at that level just seasons ago.
“Tony done a great job towards the end of the year and throughout the year keeping them up,” said McMahon.
“They had a great finish to the season. It’s something the club were looking to do, staying in the league the first time round and they’ve done a terrific job to do it.
“We’ve got some foundations to build and push the club forward.”
McMahon admits he is working with a blank canvas with regards to playing staff but Alan Woodward, his trusted number two will follow him to Oakwood, having worked together at Thamesmead and were often seen together out watching games.
“It was only this morning when it was announced. I’m meeting the chairman and committee tomorrow night to discuss things like friendlies and I need to build a team because a few will naturally be following Tony to Cray, so it’s something in the next few weeks I’m going to build a side.
“The only definite that will come with me is Alan Woodward, he’s someone I will take 100% and the rest I’ve got to sit down with the club with what they’ve got and what I can do.
“Re-build the team? Exactly right! Hence why I was watching so many games last year and keeping my finger in the pie. It’s something I do well.
“Until I sit down and talk budgets I don’t even know the calibre of player I’ll be signing.
“I’ll be talking to all the (VCD) players from last year because the club don’t want to lose them. They had a good side. I know some have signed for Cray and that’s part and parcel of it.
“Hopefully the ones who want to stay, we’ll have a chat and we can sort something out.”
It would be fair to say that McMahon was a fire-fighter at Thamesmead Town, with so many off-the-field matters and he is relishing the chance to just concentrate on footballing matters at VCD Athletic.
“No disrespect, I’ve got more tools to play with at VCD than I did at Thamesmead,” admitted McMahon.
“I’ve watched a lot of Ryman Premier League games this year so I know the standard so I know what we need to achieve this year to keep our head above water and push on.
“I did have other offers apart from VCD. I said to everyone that I’ve spoken to that I want to be just a football manager and it gives me the time to solely concentrate on football matters – it’s what I’m good at – and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing at VCD.”
When asked about his aspirations for Vickers’ second season at this level, McMahon replied: “It’s just to do the best we can. The most important thing now is try to get a team, keep our heads above water and try to build.
“Any improvement on last year is going to be a success for us.
“Tony done a great job and we’re trying to build a platform for the club and steadily progress year-on-year and I think that’s what every manager wants to do.”
McMahon will be talking terms to the players’ that performed for him at his former club.
“There’s going to be a couple that I’m going to talk to, obviously, there’s no hidden secret and hopefully a couple will come.
“I’m going to be respectful to Thamesmead because it’s a club that I’ve got a lot of time and passion for still but I’ve got a job to do in football.
“I’m going to do the best of my ability at VCD. I’ve set my sights on players that I’d like to bring in, keep, and players I want to bring with me.
“Until I sit down with the chairman and committee tomorrow night and find out the finances of the club I can build from there really.”
When asked what he is looking forward to the most at Oakwood, McMahon replied: “Just getting back involved in football. I know I was only out since February. I think without all the stress behind me. I’m going to enjoy turning up 100% committed to the football on and off the pitch and the structure of the club.
“It really is a homecoming for me because I started my managerial career at VCD.
“I’m sure I’ll have the anxiety and the butterflies in the belly for the first pre-season game.”
Visit VCD Athletic's website: http://www.vcd-athletic-fc.com