Sheppey United appoint Matt Longhurst as director of football

Tuesday 30th January 2024

SHEPPEY UNITED have appointed Matt Longhurst as their director of football.

Longhurst resigned as the manager of Erith & Belvedere shortly after their 2-0 defeat at Merstham on Tuesday 9 January, with the Park View Road outfit experiencing budget cuts throughout their Isthmian League South East Division campaign.

Erith & Belvedere (15 points from 22 games) are now jointly-managed by former Stansfeld pair Billy Hamlin and Jamie Phipps and they travel to bottom-of-the-table side Beckenham Town (12 points from 21 games) in a relegation zone six-pointer at Eden Park Avenue tonight.

“I’m delighted to be offered a fantastic opportunity at such a great club, which is already a bit part of the community,” said Longhurst in a statement.

“They’ve achieved great achievements and success over a number of years now on the pitch.

“Ernie Batten (manager) and Tony Hughes (chairman) have outlined their plans to me about the future of where they want to take the club both on and off the pitch and the role is an exciting one for myself and one I can’t wait to get started.

“There’s lots to be added to an already great project.  I will be introducing myself and building relationships across the youth section from the under 23s down to the new academy nights over the next few weeks.

“I’ll be working with Ernie and his first-team staff when it comes to assisting on the first-team player recruitment and also opposition analysis – and then from there looking again at helping enhancing the great work already going on at the club.

“It’s a new title for me, which involves a lot of work and experiences I have carried out at previous club as we aim to combine the business side off the pitch with the football being played on it by dovetailing all of it to make us the hub for the community, as well as produce players for ourselves and levels beyond whilst maintaining opportunity for all levels of the game both boys, girls, men and women.”

Greenhithe-based Longhurst has previously managed at Slade Green, Corinthian, Erith & Belvedere, East Grinstead Town, Ramsgate, Burgess Hill Town and Erith & Belvedere, where he finished off the good work carried out by Tony Beckingham and Andy Constable by winning the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title by one point last season.

Sheppey United are presently in sixth-place in the Isthmian League South East Division table, having collected 37 points (10 wins, seven draws and seven defeats) from their 24 league outings.

Batten’s men are level on points with fifth-placed side Three Bridges, who come to Holm Park on Saturday (15:00).

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