I don't want to rip the heart out of Glebe, says new manager Simon Copley

Thursday 11th September 2014
GLEBE chairman Rocky McMillan says he is making progress with plans to build a new stadium suitable for Southern Counties East Football League football in Chislehurst.

The Kent Invicta League club have plans to build their new ground on the site of the former ground of Old Elthamians Rugby Club on Foxbury Avenue in the town.

Mr McMillan said: “The deal has been agreed.  I’m literally working waiting for it to come back from the solicitors, there will be no hold up.

“We’ve already been to see the Football Foundation. We’ve got great plans for the football club.

“We’ve been looking for a home in Bromley for the last fifteen years. We’ve found one now.

“We’ve been at the Football Foundation with the heads last week. They told us exactly what to do to get the ground up to step five standard.

“They’re very excited about it. They want a community club within their area and I think the next two years will be a tremendous amount of hard work but I’m also sure at the end of it the club will come out with a stadium and a community centre that the club and the local community will be proud off.”

When asked about the site, Mr McMillan, the club’s founder, said: “It’s Old Elthamians.  They have gone into Eltham College School. It’s wonderful down there. It’s a marvelous facility and we’re going to start work literally when the lease is signed.

“We start work marking the pitches. As a club we move in October 1st.”

McMillan stood down as first team manager following the club’s FA Vase exit at the hands of Bexhill United last Sunday.

Simon Copley, the former Dartford Academy director, and Trevor Bumstead will continue with their full-time coaching roles with Premier League club West Ham United to manage in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League during their spare time.

Copley will take charge of the side for the first time on Saturday against Gravesham Borough, with Bumstead his assistant manager.

“I’m 100% excited of the challenge from my day-to-day,” said Copley.

“It’s a different way of looking how I plan and prepare everything.  I’m excited to be working for Rocks.  I’ll bring my own players in and make them stronger.

“I’m a professional coach at West Ham United alongside Trevor who’s the co-manager.  I work full-time at West Ham but this allows me in my private time, in my voluntary time if you like, to work with Rock.

“He’s approached us and asked to get the club moving forward and that’s what we want to do.

“I’m an A licensed coach. I’ve worked in football all of my life. I was ex Academy director at Dartford FC for seven-eight years, set up that and worked closely with the future players of the first team so somewhere amongst that I’ve got sufficient knowledge to do the job and sufficient players to come in and make the team stronger.”

Copley watched Glebe’s 2-0 defeat at home to fellow Step Six side Bexhill United in The FA Vase last Sunday.

When asked what he thought of his new side, Copley said: “I’ve seen it needs a lot of work. We’ve seen there’s a lot of players with good intent that maybe the ability is not there to match.

“I’ve seen some players with good ability that need to have good players around them to keep their ability up to a level but overall I’ve seen a team that’s got a good structure but with the right players and the right coaching over a period of time can only be where it deserves and that’s higher up in the leagues.”

If Copley is going to blood Premier League Academy prospects at Upton Park into the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League wearing a Glebe shirt then they are in for a rude awakening.

“I’ve already got four guys that have come into train,” added Copley.

“These guys have got a good semi-pro background at higher steps of the Conference and Ryman and I’ve got a few players who have expressed an interest to come to join us.

“I’ve got a few players who I would like to join us and I’ve got to go around the correct channels to make approaches for them – with the chairman’s backing. He’s backed us 100% but at the same time I don’t want to rip the heart of what he’s already built with his own players but the reality is if you want to progress you need the players to do it and if that means wholesale changes or half chances or two or three changes then that’s the nature of the beast.”

Copley insists he is ready for the challenge to manage at Step six level of the game, despite being used to pampered Premier League prospects.

He said: “It’s not something me and Trevor pursued. We’ve been approached on a voluntary basis.  There’s no clash in what we do in our working environment. We’re prepared to give it a go. It’s also exciting. We’re playing for three points every week as supposed to playing for professional development players.

“It’s not a step because we’re not sacrificing what we do. We’re still doing our day-to-day jobs, that’s our priority. That’s what pays us our bread and butter.  There’s no conflict of interest doing what we’re doing because we’re doing it in our private time and all the bits that you miss at Premier League Academy level and doing what we do, like vocabulary, what you can and can’t say and playing for three points, playing with adults.

“We work with boys that are at the top of their game and don’t need technically tweaking. We just deal with them tactically and bits and pieces. Whereas these boys (at Glebe) need everything so I wouldn’t say it’s a step down or a different step. I just say it’s the other side of football, if you like the real side of football, yes.”

When asked whether there is pressure to claim the league title and with it promotion to the Southern Counties East Football League in his first season in charge, Copley admitted he’s using the campaign to build for the future.

“Are we looking to get out of the league this season? It would be great wouldn’t it?

“It would be great to come in straight away, six games in but again I’m not naïve to say yes we’re bringing these guys in and this is what’s going to happen, yes we will win the league but if it happens, great. If it doesn’t our season is a part of a very, very, very long pre-season.

“I’ve come in, they’re not my players. Pre-season next season will be my players and we will learn a bit more about the players we’ve inherited.”

Glebe remain unbeaten in third-place in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League with 12 points from six games and welcome a Gravesham Borough (formerly Fleet Leisure) side that lie in the bottom six with one win and three draws from their six league outings.

Visit Glebe’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/glebefc

Glebe  v  Gravesham Borough
Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League
Saturday 13th September 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HG