Lovell glad to be back in football
Lovell glad to be back in football

New Welling United manager Steve Lovell has told KSN how he has missed being involved in football.

Lovell, who has been out of the game since leaving Ebbsfleet United back in September, was appointed on Thursday following the departure of Brad Quinton on Tuesday following the Wings home defeat to St Albans City and following his appointment he spoke to KSN…

“I’ve missed it” Lovell admitted, “it’s lovely to get back into it with someone I know very well (Mark Goldberg), and it’s nice to get back into the game and work with someone like him!”

“I love a challenge,” Lovell said as he finds the Wings bottom of National League South.

“People know all about my challenges in the past with other teams that I’ve managed – remember when I took over at Gillingham, we were in a very precarious position but managed to get them up the table and progress the following season. I like a challenge and football is all about challenges in many different ways.”

“This one is one where I’m going in where all the players are mainly new to me, so I’ll have a look at them as how they are and give them all a chance – give them all an opportunity to show me what they can do – and hopefully they’ll do better than they have done so far this season.”

“But only time will tell… I want to give everyone a chance so that I can see everything that we’ve got at the club. Hopefully, I’ve got enough at the club that I can work with!”

“I’ve got a lot of contacts at all the London clubs and non-League clubs after my Director of Football role at Ebbsfleet prior to this job – my phone hasn’t stopped all day since the announcement was made regarding players. You know it’s amazing,”

Lovell pondered, “when you’re out of football, your phone doesn’t ring and you don’t get any messages or texts, but as soon as you’re back in it, the phone doesn’t stop! But that’s football… and that’s what I missed!”

Lovell returns to football at a troubled time for the game and admitted that he had concerns too – he said, “It was a big concern for me – being away from football since September and it’s a concern for everyone in football really. At Welling, there’s the right protocols in place already; the boys are being tested before training sessions so we’re doing everything possible to prevent any problems.”

“The League are very strict on what we have to do and the protocols that need to be put in place and that’s what we’re adhering to. We’re going to do everything possible to fulfil our fixtures between now and the end of the season, and we’ll be doing everything we can to get the wins we need under our belt.”

“It does surprise me in a way that the National League is still playing,” Lovell admitted. “I believe that in the League, players are now being tested twice a week with the tight guidelines that they have to keep up with. But it’s hard in the Non-League game to let that happen as a lot of clubs are still part-time with people still working during the week, before going training in the evening.”

“It is a surprise really, but I think the League are trying their best to get through this season if they can and hopefully, we can get through and get the season finished without too many problems.”

“It is a concern that we might not get through the season, but at the moment, touch wood, things seem to be alright – I know that there are some games being cancelled, but I think there’s still enough midweeks to fulfil the fixtures and get them done.”

Little did Lovell know that within hours of speaking to KSN, Saturday’s derby with Tonbridge Angels would be called off due to the Angels having to follow COVID protocols.

“The near future is the most important for us now and making sure everyone stays safe and we get through as many of the games as we can.”