Saturday 26th November 2005

We've made mistakes, admits Sevenoaks chief

Sevenoaks Town's general manager Graham Logsdon has tonight admitted to making mistakes after losing his second manager in just 42 days today, writes Stephen McCartney.

Long-serving Logsdon, who led the club in their debut season in the Kent League three years ago, following their promotion from the Kent County League, saw his side finish a respectable eleventh place.

He then moved "upstairs" and appointed the club's reserve team manager, John James, but the current Chipstead manager, resigned following their 3-1 defeat at Slade Green in January 2005, before his coaches Julian Leigh and Gary Davies, worked jointly to emulated the previous campaign's final placing.

Leigh, however, left Greatness Park during the close season to manage the reserve side at Ryman League neighbours Tonbridge Angels and Davies was appointed sole first team manager.  

The former Fisher Athletic, Bromley, Greenwich Borough and Beckenham Town coach drafted in unknown Hildenborough based coach Brian Meaney and former Thamesmead Town and Erith Town boss John Adams as his backroom staff.

But when Davies resigned from his position minutes after his side lost 1-0 at fellow strugglers Greenwich Borough on 15th October, Adams took over at the helm but lasted just eight games and decided to resign following today's Kent Senior Trophy defeat at home to his former club Erith Town.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk - the first media source to break the news, Logsdon said: "After today's game John (Adams) came up to the chairman (Tony Smart) and myself and said he was going to resign.

"He felt he couldn't take the team any further although he had agreed to take Tuesday night's game against Beckenham.  He will take Tuesday's game and that will basically be it."

Logsdown, however, hinted he already knows who the new management team are.

He said: "I don't think we'll make an announcement on that until Tuesday night.

"We have been actively interviewing over the past three weeks and an announcement will be made on that matter Tuesday.  So in that basis the new management team will be in place for Saturday's home fixture against Slade Green."

So why have the club - currently rooted to the foot of the Kentish Observer League table with just four points - gone through so many managers in a short space of time?

"I see that as an error, possibly on our part," admitted Logsdon.  "I think we have made mistakes and as I've said from the outset, it's been a learning curve.  Obviously we've learnt along the way and hopefully the new incoming people will fit the bill.

"It's not an easy task for a new manager to come in.  I wouldn't view it as the easiest of tasks but the people that are coming are confident they'll hopefully obtain a midtable position with a view to building for next year."

And Logsdon is confident the next manager at Greatness Park will claw the club out of the doldrums, and their first priority must be finding a striker who can score goals.  Sevenoaks' leading goalscorer, with 3 goals from the penalty spot, happens to be their goalkeeper, Craig Clark.

"I still like to think we're a club that are striving to move forward," said Logsdon, who manages the club's under eighteen side.

"This is our endeavour.  We are still very new and as I say it's been a big learning curve for everybody.

"Nobody at the club really had any experience of Kent League football.  It has been a learning curve and its fair to say we are learning the hard way.

"I know from my point of view that I'm determined we will achieve respectability in the Kent League and it's probably fair to say with a relative experienced management (team) at the top they'll help us to achieve that."

Logsdon revealed the improvements that will be undertaken at Greatness Park during the summer months.

"I think the infrastructure is in place," he said.  "We intend to carry out a lot of ground work during the close season with a view of improving the playing surface. We've worked hard in the summer to get our clubhouse right.

"We are financially stable, which is a plus, and I think it's fair to say the committee we've got are all aiming for the same thing.

"We are not in the position to pay extremes of money for playing staff but again I don't think we're alone.

"We don't have a Roman Abramovich behind the scenes, but we're stable and I feel you can't expect to achieve everything that you perhaps want to achieve immediately and that's part of our learning curve."

But Logsdon is happy with former Welling United reserve team manager Gary Hunt who has led Sevenoaks' second string to the top of the Kent League second division table.

Logsdon, however, has ruled out the possibility of Hunt taking over the first team manager's job, as the club look unlikely to appoint from within.

"I am first to admit we've made mistakes along the way.  But the decision to take the reserve team manager Gary Hunt (from Welling United) has proved a success," he said.

"Our reserve team management team are successful, they work hard and its fair to say it's been very difficult for them in recent weeks as the first team have had to call upon several of their players, which has been a drain on them and I think the fact that their still obtaining top position shows the decision we've made was the correct one."

Hunt and his number two Tony Fanning appear to want to secure titles at reserve team level, instead of producing players that are good enough for the club's first team, which is the most important team of any club.

"Gary and Tony did apply and I made a decision I felt they were still new to us and I felt it would be appropriate for this time to stay where they were," said Logsdon.

"Gary has got it in his mind he wants to win that (reserve) league and I think that decision was the right one to get a complete new management team for the first team."

Meaney's future at the club has also ended, either today or on Tuesday night, and Logsdon explained: "The management team is a complete change so that's the decision that's been made."

Adams admitted he felt it was time to resign - after eight games - after not having the resources to improve matters on the field.

He said: "The chairman asked me to see him on Tuesday and just have a chat.

"I made the decision tonight as we've been given until Christmas to change it around by the committee and I personally cannot see us doing it by then with what we've got at the club at the moment."

Adams who takes charge for the final time against league leaders Beckenham Town in the group stages of the Kent League Cup, where they cannot qualify after losing their first three matches, added: "I think the club has got some good decent people down there.

"I don't think its half bad down there but they need to get certain things right.

"Their best player they've had was Andy Constable, who lived on their doorstep, but players want money."

Sevenoaks Town v Beckenham Town
Kentish Observer League Cup Group D
Tuesday 29th November 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks