Lindsey excited by Chatham challenge
Lindsey excited by Chatham challenge

The departure of James Collins from Chatham Town last week was unexpected. It wasn’t however as unexpected as the announcement of his successor late on Thursday.

Scott Lindsey is the new man in the Maidstone Road hot seat and after a playing career that started at Priestfield and included spells at Sittingbourne and Dover, he’s spent the last decade working in the Football League with Lincoln City, Swindon Town and Forest Green Rovers respectfully as a coach.

However, as he explained to KSN in his first full interview since taking over, the move “home” couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment…

Lindsey told us, “I’ve worked away from home for the last ten years, but I’ve now got a situation that has arisen because of my family that has meant I’ve had to come home.”

“I spoke to Kev (Kevin Hake, Chatham’s chairman) and the job became available and after meeting him, I realised the potential of the club and the ambition and the drive of Kevin and it just felt right – and I’m really pleased to be manager of Chatham Town.”

“The changes that Kevin and his predecessors have put in on the ground shows the ambitions of the club. You only have to walk through the gate and see the difference in the place and the work that’s been done alongside the infrastructure that’s planned to come in, that only says that the club is on the up and heading the right way.”

“It was a surprise to me when I first walked in, it feels like a good place to work! It’s not going to be difficult for me to adjust as I’m mindful of the variation from League to League.”

“Even though I’ve lived away for a long time, I have kept in touch with a lot of Kent Non-League football, as in the ten years that I have been away, my family have still lived in the Medway Towns and so I’ve had times when I’ve come home on a Tuesday night and there’s been a local game, quite often I’ve gone to watch and taken a lot on board.”

“I know a lot of players and kept my finger on the pulse of things. And I think that when you’re part of a professional set up you almost have to have your finger on the pulse everywhere anyway. The player recruitment is an area where people think that I may struggle but because of the homework that I’ve done I don’t necessarily think that’s right.”

Lindsey has appointed former Folkestone Invicta midfielder Darren Smith to be his assistant and when asked about the squad they’ve inherited from previous boss James Collins, Lindsey told us, “We’ve got a good mixture of youth and experience which is a good blend. I’m happy with the squad and am not going to make wholesale changes at the moment – there will be one or two additions, but I do believe that we’ve got a good balance and so far, I’m pleased with the lads who are there.”

“We had one training session on Thursday afternoon after getting the job and got straight into it really and we had one training session where the players were really good and then we had Saturday’s game with Fisher.”

“I thought we were the better team and could have won the game – I thought we did well and there were a lot of signs of encouragement in the way that we did play and there was already signs of how I want the team to play and that was after just one training session.”

“We probably edged it if I’m honest – we were the better side over the ninety minutes and had the better of the chances. On another day we could have come away with all three points, but at the end of the day, we’re a point closer to where we want to be.”

“I don’t look at it from a negative point of view of dropping two points and the fact that it’s a transitional period between the two managers – I know that it will take time for me to get my stamp on the team.”

“No midweek game and so it will be a good chance to get two real hard training sessions under the players belts – there’s a lot of work to do, a lot of learning, coaching on how I want them to play. So, I’m pleased that we will have two really solid sessions this week ahead of facing Beckenham in the FA Vase on Saturday.”