Published: 06:00, 14 January 2021
| Updated: 11:06, 14 January 2021
Update: Steve Lovell has been appointed Welling United boss. Full story here
Steve Lovell misses the buzz of football and is eager to be involved once again.
The former Gillingham manager hasn’t been in work since leaving his director of football role at Ebbsfleet United at the end of August.
Four months out of the game is too long for a man who has rarely been away.
He said: “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.”
Following a successful playing career, Lovell was twice manager of Sittingbourne, spent a year at Gravesend & Northfleet and had spells at Hastings and Ashford Town while also coaching at Charlton and Gillingham.
He would eventually get the job he dreamed of, as manager of the Gills, where he spent two seasons, ending his time there just before the end of the 2018/19 campaign, when the club finished 13th in League 1.
Lovell went onto spend nine months as director of football at Ebbsfleet United, playing a crucial role in assembling a squad at the Kuflink Stadium this summer. He left Fleet four months ago and now he can’t even play golf - another of his passions - as courses are shut during the third national lockdown.
He said: “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.
“In the last four or five years I have either been first team coach, assistant or manager. It has been weird, the times at Gillingham were brilliant, I loved that and my heart is still there. This is not something I am accustomed to.
“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.
“When I was at Ebbsfleet I was dealing with a lot of clubs, non-league and league, in regard to signing players. We got together a decent squad and hopefully they will pick up a bit. It hasn’t been the best start they would have wished (for), but they are good players and I am sure they will get through.”
Some of Lovell’s predecessors at Gillingham have gone global to stay in the game, Jamie Day taking on the head coach role of the Bangladesh national football team while Ady Pennock has been managing Brunei’s top side.
As a young player, Lovell spent a season in the North American Soccer League when it first started, playing against the likes of George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller and Rodney Marsh.
He enjoyed his time with the Memphis Rogues but with an extended family on his doorstep, which includes seven grandchildren, moving out of the country isn’t for him.
“I have a big family and I am happy,” said Lovell. “I don’t mind spending a few days a week away from home but moving abroad would mean upheaval and missing people, so I wouldn’t do that.
“It would just be nice to go and help somewhere, to get back into football. I have to wait for the opportunity to come along, for someone to offer me something and when they do I will be happy to give it my all.”