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Former Gillingham boss Steve Lovell named new Welling United manager

Steve Lovell is back in football as the new Welling United manager.

In a turbulent 24 hours at Park View Road, National League South Welling have sacked former boss Bradley Quinton, seen director of football Garry Fiore step down, and have now appointed Lovell to turn their season around.

Steve Lovell has been appointed manager of Welling United. Picture: Andy Jones (43953276)
Steve Lovell has been appointed manager of Welling United. Picture: Andy Jones (43953276)

Former Gillingham manager Lovell has been out of football since leaving his position as director of football at Ebbsfleet United at the start of September.

Tristan Lewis is also back at Welling as assistant boss - just days after he was named by Billericay as the new no.2 to Kevin Watson - while Craig Lewis returns "to assist with fitness and conditioning".

Welling announced Fiore's departure on Wednesday night. A statement said: "The club can announce this evening that Garry Fiore has stepped down from his role as Director of Football.

"Garry wishes to pass on his best wishes to the club’s next management team. We’d like to thank Garry for his work in the Director of Football role.

"Garry will remain in his role as Academy Director alongside Brett Smith and Barry Jeffreys."

It also appears that Welling chairman Mark Goldberg is again calling the shots, as the statement confirming Lovell's appointment said: "Mark Goldberg is delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Lovell as the new first team manager."

In September, it appeared that Goldberg was taking a step back when the club announced that "on a day to day basis Mark Goldberg has handed over the day to day running of the club including the matchday responsibility to Garry Fiore, Paul Whitehead and Matt Mein, who will be ably supported by Robert Littlefield overseeing club finances."

But Welling have struggled on the field this season, taking just eight points from 11 games and they sit bottom of National League South. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup at Southern Counties East League Sheppey while the Wings will point out that their momentum has not been helped by losing numerous games due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

Lovell has already spoken this week about his desire to get back into the game.

After spells in charge at clubs including Sittingbourne, Ashford and Hastings, Lovell got his dream role when he took over at Gillingham from Ady Pennock - a former Welling boss - in October 2017.

During his first season, the Gills finished in 17th spot and they improved the following campaign to sit 13th in League 1.

However, he lost his job towards the end of that campaign and Gillingham chairman turned to Steve Evans to take over at Priestfield.

Lovell said this week: "I’ve had 44 years where I have always been involved in football, since I left school.

"I have always done something and it is a weird position. I would love to be out there coaching, involved in some way.”

“Up until two weeks ago, from September, I had been playing golf nearly every day, it has been lovely but in the back of my mind I’m thinking 'I don’t want to do this every day'.

“I want to get out and work and to have a goal in my life, to have that buzz about being involved in a team and having that adrenaline rush, with those feelings of winning and losing. It stays within you all your life and when you haven’t got it you realise how much you miss it.

“I know during these times, it is not nice for anyone, but people are out there involved in football still, doing a job, and that is where I would like to be, to be involved on a Saturday and a Tuesday, to have that buzz around a game of football because it has been around me all my life.

“There have been a few jobs out there which I have applied for but there are a lot of managers in the same position as me and I appreciate that, they are all looking for the same job as I am. You have to wait for your opportunity to come."

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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