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Age no issue as new Maidstone United boss Harry Wheeler says he'll get instant respect

By Craig Tucker

Harry Wheeler has laid down the law following his appointment as Maidstone manager.

The new boss is only 30 but believes his record commands respect and he's started by demanding hard work from his players.

He's signed a deal until the end of the season after beating off competition from more than 50 applicants.

Harry Wheeler has demanded hard work from his team Picture: Andy Payton
Harry Wheeler has demanded hard work from his team Picture: Andy Payton

Wheeler, sacked by Billericay last month, is sure he's the man for the job and has vowed to get struggling Stones up the National League.

He said: "I've asked the players, from today, you make me two promises.

"You work as physically hard as you can every single game and when it's not going your way you don't give in until that whistle goes.

"I'm a believer that If I'm 2-0 down with two minutes left I still think we might get something.

"That's just my nature and that's what I want to install in them.

"They'll never know when they're beaten and we can always go off afterwards and go 'we worked harder than they did'.

"If we couple that with the quality that's there and the organisation we've got, we won't be far off."

Wheeler took up coaching aged 19 and completed his UEFA A licence when he was 23.

He helped Billericay win the Bostik Premier title last season as head coach and they were top of National South when he was sacked last month.

He's also managed St Albans and Welling.

Wheeler said: "I made a decision at 19 to stop playing at the decent level I was at, so when I became 30 I've already done 11 years.

"The game is very simple. Football is football. You don't complicate the game.

"If you do enough homework and you work hard enough, experience on the day is irrelevant.

"We will be so regimented and we'll know so much about other teams that we can go against a manager that's had 20 years and we've done one month.

"By the time that game comes at 3 o'clock, we know as much as they do about that team.

"That's why I started young.

"You get that instant respect once people know you're good enough and the players will see that straight away.

"From there, there's never going to be an issue with experience.

"I've not met any 30-year-olds that have done 11 years."

Wheeler, who's named Tristan Lewis and Craig Lewis as his assistants, may only have a deal for the rest of the season but that doesn't bother him.

He knows a longer deal will follow if he shows he's up to it.

Wheeler said: "If you're good enough, it's going to be longer.

"If I was worried about that then I'm worried about my ability.

"You do it until the end of the season and if you're good enough you will already have earned a new deal.

"That's how you have to look at it. It doesn't matter to me whether it was one month, two months or till the end of the season.

"By the end of it we'll be in a really good place and I think they will want to go further."

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