Lewes are a sleeping giant says new assistant boss Vines

Assistant boss Joe Vines wants to lay the foundations for long-term success at Lewes and awaken a sleeping non-league giant.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 4:13 pm
New Lewes assistant manager Joe Vines (left) and first team boss Tony Russell. Picture courtesy of Lewes Football Club

Vines, along with manager Tony Russell, were appointed in April following six years at Cray Wanderers.

Vines also enjoyed a one-year spell at Lewes as a player from 2004 to 2005.

The defender was part of the Rooks side that won the Isthmian Division One South title, and promotion to the newly-formed Conference South via a series of play-offs, in 2003-04.

And Vines was delighted to return to The Dripping Pan. He said: “I was really enthusiastic from the beginning.

“It’s a great club. I had fantastic times and great success there as a player. I’ve got people from 16, 17 years ago messaging me.

“It’s so nice to go to a place where you’ve had a lovely time first time around, and it’s even bigger and better than it was then.

“It’s a massive club. It’s a bit of a sleeping giant.

“It’s already been at the levels we aspire to be, so it’s all there for us.”

Vines and Russell enjoyed huge success at Cray, winning the Isthmian South East in 2018-19 before finishing second and fifth in the curtailed 2019-20 and 2020-21 Isthmian Premier campaigns.

But Vines wanted to temper expectations for instant success at The Dripping Pan, preferring to focus on long-term aims.

He added: “We can have these large aims but you have to break it down.

“We’re going into a new county and we want to build a team that is a long-term team, not a short-term fix.

“Our aims will be to change the mentality. They got promoted a few seasons ago but since then they’ve been down the lower end of the table.

“Our remit is to provide a style of football that makes people want to come and watch Lewes.

“When people start to buy into that then you start to win football matches.

“There’s probably five or six clubs saying ‘we can win it this year’. We’re on the lower end of that I suppose.

“We want to push as far as we can but I wouldn’t make any predictions about us running away with the league.”