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McMahon excited for new season
McMahon excited for new season

Keith McMahon is relishing a return to the manager’s seat and cannot wait to lead Phoenix Sports into the new Isthmian season. 

In his first interview with KSN since his recent appointment, the former Thamesmead Town and Whitstable Town boss told us, “It has been a while because of different circumstances, but I am over the moon to be back involved at a Club that is close to my heart.”

“I played for them as a kid from the age of about six to around fourteen; my mum and dad used to help run the Clubhouse behind the bar – my son plays for the Club, it’s local to me and I have a lot of affection for the people involved there.” 

Phoenix survived on their return to the Isthmian League last season and the new boss admitted, “For a Club like Phoenix over the years, to be in the League anyway is really a good place for them to be.”

McMahon continued, “Going back only about ten years or so, they were in the Kent County League and the progression the Club has made on and off the pitch in that relatively short period of time has been amazing!”

“Last year, the Isthmian South East was a very, very strong league and they had a great finish under Steve (O’Boyle) and did well to stay in the division.” 

McMahon was part of the Phoenix back-room set-up for a short period last season – a fact that he admits will help – he said, “I was there for about two months after Steve asked me – we go back to our days at Thamesmead – it did not quite work out.”

“It will be difficult as there have been some changes over the break and we are almost starting again with the resources that we have, but I am looking forward to it.” 

Reflecting on his time on the sidelines, McMahon admitted it’s been both frustrating at times waiting for the “right” job to come along; “A little bit I think,” he said, “I had to miss a year as I had a serious operation on my leg, and I couldn’t really do anything.”

“It was frustrating in some places, but it did not stop me going out to watch a lot of games, getting myself around and keeping involved.” 

“I think it is frustrating sometimes that Clubs ask you to apply for a job and put your CV in, but then appoint someone who has not got a CV as good as yours – I have spoken to a lot of managers who have been in the same boat.”

“But that is just football I guess… but it was just waiting for the right sort of opportunity as well. I did have a few offers, but they were not something that I could really get my teeth into, whereas Phoenix I have the affection and I really like the people there behind the scenes.”

“I know them all really well – it is a Club that I was not necessarily waiting for because as they are friends, I thought it may have been difficult. But with the situation that we both found ourselves in, it ended up being a perfect fit and worth the wait!”