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Hythe Town's new boss Steve Watt says it was the club's potential which attracted him to the job

Steve Watt says he hopes to repay Hythe's confidence in him by helping the Cannons push for the Isthmian South East play-offs.

The 34-year-old former Chelsea defender was unveiled as Town's new manager on Saturday – just three days after Sam Denly's resignation following a poor start to the season.

Watt's appointment at Reachfields comes almost a year to the day he left his last managerial role, as Maidstone caretaker boss.

Steve Watt is back in management after a year's absence Picture: Don Walker
Steve Watt is back in management after a year's absence Picture: Don Walker

He was previously assistant boss at Hastings and then manager at Margate, taking them to within one win of the Bostik Premier play-offs in 2017/18.

Watt admits he is delighted to be back in football explaining that it was Hythe's potential which attracted him to the job – the first he has ever had to apply for.

He said: "I'd been involved in football since I was a teenager so for nearly 20 years it has been my life but until I left Maidstone last September I did not have a CV.

"I've never applied for anything in my life. I'd been looking to get back in any capacity, not necessarily a management role, but when I saw the Hythe job had become available it appealed to me.

"Throughout my career I've always joined clubs who show ambition and from the outside looking in, Hythe seemed to fall into that category.

"I'm grateful they've given me the opportunity to get back into football and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can move the club forward."

Watt underwent his interview on Saturday morning and met the squad straight after. By Monday he had confirmed Nathan Elder as his assistant and Paul Booth as coach.

The ex-centre-half, who also played for Swansea and Grimsby, took charge for the first time for the penalty shootout win over Whitstable in the Velocity Trophy at Reachfields on Tuesday.

That game is followed by a trip to bottom club Phoenix on Saturday, followed by a home match with Sevenoaks next Tuesday.

His predecessor Denly left with Hythe 18th on three points from four matches but Watt believes there is still plenty of time to put things right. He says he plans to evaluate the squad before making any changes.

He said: "I know a few of the lads but the game on Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to look at the squad and everything else.

"The games come thick and fast but the way I look at it is that we're only seven points off top spot at the moment and there's still a lot of football to be played.
"Like all these leagues everyone is capable of beating each other, it's about being consistent and if we can get a run together I see no reason why we can't challenge for the play-offs – that's where the club want to be."

Watt believes his budget is a competitive one for the division adding that he will aim to sign players 'of the right character for the right value'.

He accepts he will probably have to move players out before he can bring some in but has said that finding some support for experienced striker Frannie Collin would be among his early priorities.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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