Dean Lightwood and Matt Crabb spoke about the coaching roles they are set to perform in the new Lewes FC management set-up.
Crabb joined Garry Wilson and Danny Bloor in the move from Eastbourne Town to the Dripping Pan.
Crabb, 31, is still playing – and playing well at that, picking up the manager’s player of the year award at the Saffrons last season.
But while he intends to play as much as possible for the Rooks next season, he is also keen to move into coaching and will help Wilson, Bloor and Lightwood in coaching duties next term.
Lightwood, meanwhile, has given up academy roles at Charlton Athletic and Brighton and Hove Albion to become head coach at the Pan.
The former Lewes goalkeeper spoke to the Sussex Express about his memories of keeping goal for the Rooks, and also of his excitement at becoming involved in first team coaching at the Dripping Pan.
Lightwood said: “I played back a long time ago now when I was 18/19 years old in the Ryman League. It wasn’t quite on the sound footing it is now. It was a very young side actually, but it was a very good experience: we were playing against the likes of Aldershot Town when they were coming back through the (non league) pyramid, playing in front of 4,000 people down there and stuff like that.”
Of his more recent experiences, he said: “I had a bit of a break away from the first team stuff, been working a lot with Charlton’s academy, and latterly Brighton’s academy, for the last few years since I left Eastbourne Borough, so I’m looking forward to getting back into it, and the results on a Saturday really, because that’s the sort of thing you miss when you’re working on the academies. You do a lot of work with the lads and you have got the games obviously at the weekend, but it’s not the three points at the end of it so much, it’s more the all round development of the players.
“So it’s a nice change. I’m looking forward to working with the whole squad whereas I’ve maybe been focusing on goalkeeping coaching for the last few years since I retired (from) playing a few years ago.”
“I’ll be the first team coach so we’ll be setting up the shape and the pattern of play, and the organisation. Myself and Matt will be responsible for taking the training sessions and setting everything up really.
“Obviously Garry will be the overall decision maker but we’ll be responsible for putting the sessions on for the lads and looking at how we’re going to play and all the organisational side and the tactical side... as well as pre-season coming up, when we’ll focus for the first month on the strength and conditioning side of things.
Crabb added: “(Coaching) was something that I was going to take up like, next season, before we found out what was going on here anyway, so it’s no difference – just a transition into a different club really.
“But eventually it is something that I will want to do, but like I said to Garry when he did say to me about it, ‘to be honest with you, I want to play as much as I can, as regularly as I can all the time I’m fit and able to play’.
“But if not I’ll be helping them with the other players’ experiences and stuff like that – (experiences) of playing at this level and a little bit higher, and we’ll just see how it goes, really.”
“It’s good to be here. The club’s moving forward, a little bit like a few years ago when I first started down at Eastbourne Borough. There’s no reason why this club can’t progress back to where really it should be.
“We’ll see how it goes this season but we should definitely be doing better next year anyway.”