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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Rudge closing in on assistant
CHIPPENHAM Town player-boss Nathan Rudge expects to appoint his new assistant manager next week.
Richard Fey, who resigned as manager of Bitton on Tuesday, has been linked with a move to Hardenhuish Park and the 34-year-old could become the first new face on the Bluebirds management team for next season.
But Rudge is remaining tight-lipped on rumours surrounding the arrival of former Mangotsfield United and Clevedon United keeper Fey, who signed Aaron Wilson and Shaun Lamb from the Bluebirds earlier this season as Bitton finished as runners-up in the Toolstation League Premier Division.
“I don’t really want to talk about that too much at this moment in time but I should have the new assistant in place by next week,” said the Hardenhuish Park chief.
“I know that Gary Kemp will be leaving but Matt Bown (coach) has had some personal problems, so I’ve given him a bit of time to think about what he wants to do next season.
“I’m still waiting to speak to Pete Hussey (assistant coach) properly too because I’ve only had a brief chat with him.”
Rudge was appointed player-boss for the forthcoming season last month and the defender thinks that his biggest challenge will be asserting his authority over his teammates.
“I’ve sat everyone down and told them what I’m expecting of them but from speaking to other people who’ve gone from a player to a player-manager, the toughest job is drawing a line between yourself and the players,” said the Bluebirds boss.
“You’re not just one of the lads any more but it’s someting you have to do.
“It was good to speak to everyone and see what they’d like to try and do - as I’ve said before, they’re still all invited back next season.”
As he plots the shape of his squad for next season, Rudge also revealed that he’s been inundated with players showing an interest in joining the Bluebirds’ next campaign and added: “I’ve had no end of phone calls from players who’d like to come and play for us.
“Up in the Premier League, there’s a domino effect where players move down the leagues all the way to league two and it’s the same for us all the way down from the Conference.
“I’ve been speaking to people who’d be interested in coming down but some of their wage demands were ridiculous to be honest.
“But at the same time, there are some players from the Conference North and South who are a bit more reasonable, so we might end up looking at some of those.
“We’re always going to be looking at players, that’s just the way football is at the moment.”
The Bluebirds’ end of season presentation dinner takes place at Chippenham Sports Club on Friday, May 18.
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