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Patience pays off for Dover Athletic boss Mitch Brundle in four-month search for a new assistant as Jake Leberl rejoins the club

Patience paid off for Dover in their four-month search for a new assistant manager, boss Mitch Brundle believes.

Popular Jake Leberl has returned to the club as Brundle’s No.2, with the 46-year-old having been Chris Kinnear’s assistant before Kinnear was sacked five years ago.

Jake Leberl – became Dover assistant manager for a second spell last week. Picture: Tony Flashman
Jake Leberl – became Dover assistant manager for a second spell last week. Picture: Tony Flashman

But Brundle will now work alongside a man who helped bring him to Dover as a player in their days towards the top-end of the National League.

Despite the pair’s first match together at the helm ending in a 1-0 weekend National League South loss at home to Weston-super-Mare, the 28-year-old said: “I’m glad to have Jake on board.

“It’s taken some time to find the right person. You can just go and get an assistant, so you have someone on the side with you, but that’s not what I wanted to do.

“I wanted to make sure I got the right person - and I think Jake’s the right person.

“I had good success when he was here, he had good success under Chris Kinnear as well, and he’s got a view of the game and how it works. We work well together.

“We have got a great relationship. We have always had that since I first came here so it was a case of being patient to get him.

“Defensively, he will add his strength and that proved on Saturday, considering that’s the least amount of chances in a game we have conceded this season.

“Now, it’s about coming together to combine and get the whole game right - not just one side of it. I’m delighted to have him in.

“He has got great knowledge, he’s very experienced and I look forward to, hopefully, having some successful times with him.”

Brundle initially appointed two different people to the assistant position this summer – firstly Ricky Holmes and then ex-Sutton Common Rovers joint-manager Lee Flavin – only for both to U-turn on their respective decisions to join Dover.

Since then, Brundle has been working without an assistant, although he has been supported at times by scout Errol Johnson.

“It’s been difficult on my own,” Brundle admitted. “It’s just been about bringing the right person in and I think Jake is.

“Having a game on the same day he was trying to put some information into the players was tough. We knew Saturday was going to be a difficult task.

“But it’s going to be great to have someone alongside me. It has been tough doing it when you’re on your own.

“There’s a lot to do on gamedays that people don’t see and there’s a lot to do behind the scenes that people don’t see.

“We just need to get a couple of results on the board.”

Brundle revealed he had been in contact with Leberl for some time.

He said: “I have been speaking to Jake for a while now. He’s been coming to games.

“It was just about getting it over the line, which we have done.

“Now, we can just move forward in a positive manner.”

As well as two spells as a Dover player, Leberl counts Margate, Dagenham & Redbridge and Faversham, where he was player-coach, among his old clubs.

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