Returning Whittington looking to get Mile Oak back on track

Returning Mile Oak manager Anthony Whittington. Picture by Liz Pearce
Returning Mile Oak manager Anthony Whittington. Picture by Liz Pearce

Returning Mile Oak Football Club manager Anthony Whittington is unsure how things will work out in his second stint.

Whittington agreed on a return to the Oak hotseat just a couple of days after previous manager Ben Shoulders left the club to go to Southern Combination League Division 1 rivals Southwick.

The fear following Shoulders’ departure was he’d raid his former team, and influential trio Jamie McKenzie, Enzo Benn and Joseph Benn moved to Old Barn Way with Shoulders.

For Whitty, who spent 14 years as manager in his previous spell, the main focus is to stabilise Mile Oak.

He said: “I just thought it needed someone who knows the club to try to get it back on track. It was a case of the manager leaving and taking loads of players with him, they had released almost a whole squad.

“I had to try to convince players to stay and sign back on as well as getting some fresh faces in so it’s more about recruitment than anything.

“Having been at the club before and knowing how hard it is, I thought I could probably put a squad back together.”

A whole host of players have moved on since the end of last season but Whitty has reassured supporters by revealing he is in talks with a number of players.

Whittington added: “I’ve got no idea how our season will go.

“When players sign and when we kick-off our first game, we will see where we are.

“In terms of players returning and new signings, we are looking at 12 to 15 players.

“It will just depend on the ones that have said ‘yes’.

“We’ve got a lot of reserve team players who are willing to stay and I know they will be given a chance.

“From the first team we’ve got six, seven or eight staying maybe but we can’t guarantee that until they all sign.

“I’m sure they’ve not only spoken to me but they’ve probably also spoken to other managers as players do.

“People like Michael Gould, Eric Wedge-Bull, Aaron Stenning, Karl Gillingham, Damon Pollard will hopefully be here as well as a couple more.”

Mile Oak are set to return for pre-season on Tuesday, June 26.