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Manager Steve Watt facing a busy summer at Isthmian League side Hythe Town

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Hythe Town boss Steve Watt has started his rebuilding job - but admits his task will be harder second time around.

Watt quit the Isthmian South East side midway through the 2021/22 season during a tough time for the club financially, believing it was in their best interests that he stepped aside. At the time they were pushing towards the play-off places.

Hythe Tow manager Steve Watt Picture: Barry Goodwin
Hythe Tow manager Steve Watt Picture: Barry Goodwin

Goalkeeper Henry Newcombe (Deal Town) and striker Tom Walmsley (Hollands & Blair) have dropped down a level while also leaving are Nico Cotton, George Crimmen and Jordan Sarfo.

The club have confirmed that Riley Alford, Connor Cheek, Ollie Gray, Jack Mayhew, George Sibley, and Morgan Williamson are staying while Alex Flisher, Jarred Trespaderne and Josh Stirman are returning.

"There needed to be some changes," said Watt, who replaced James Rogers.

"I spoke to all the players last week and moved some players on in areas I think we can strengthen and I am still speaking to some.

"There are one or two players who have a bit of interest, as you can imagine. There are some good players here, but the bulk of the squad that I want to keep will be staying. It is all go at the moment."

Watt has also been shaping his backroom team. He's been talking with Nathan Elder about bringing him back as an assistant manager and former Sittingbourne boss Darren Blackburn is on the coaching team.

On Elder's possible return, Watt said: "It is a big commitment to make in terms of coming back and into the management role, you have to give up certain things. He needs to make sure he is happy to do that again and then move forward."

Watt knows he won't have the same funds as the top sides next season but is confident he can put together a competitive team.

He said: "When I left the club we were seven points off the play-offs with a game in hand. I will be looking to build that type of squad again, so that we can challenge and get amongst it.

"It will be a lot more difficult next year because of the money that is being spent in our league but if I am able to get the targets that I have identified then I think we will be in for a good season.

"It will be a harder challenge, 100%. There are some really good teams in this league.

"Money doesn't always buy you success, but it does help. It helps you maybe get better players but I am looking for a certain type of player.

"First and foremost for me, it always has been, no matter where, players have to be here for the right reasons.

"Players have to be here for the football, not putting money first.

"We have identified targets and spoken to good people and we have to let them decide. I am very optimistic with the conversations we have had."

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