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FOOTBALL: Back on business
MARK Love insists he always planned on coming back to manage Devizes Town and maintains he has unfinished business at Nursteed Road after his quick return.
The 41-year-old left Devizes by mutual consent last December but has again taken up the reins after a short spell in charge of Hellenic League Witney Town.
Ex-Shrivenham boss Love first joined Devizes in October 2010 and guided the club up the table with a 12-match winning run but his second season in charge ended with him departing Town, with the side bottom of the Toolstation League First Division.
Love is determined make up for his team’s disappointing last campaign and said: “I was always going to be coming back to the club at some but some people may be a bit surprised it’s happened so soon.
“Witney was a higher level and it turned out to be too much time to commit with work and family commitments so I decided not to stay there.
“Devizes is a good club to be at and there’s definitely some unfinished business here for me.
“I’ve got a good relationship with Shaun (Moffatt, chairman) and Neil (Fautley, vice-chairman) and I’m feeling like I want to put right what happened in my second season.
“I’ll bring a few players with me, like I always do, and maybe a few more experienced ones in to help us stay competitive but I know there’s some good local talent around too because I’ve watched a few of them before.
“If they can prove they’re good enough, then they’ll play.”
Justin Webster, who worked with Love at Wroughton, will come in as assistant manager while the Devizes boss is also hoping to recruit Jamie Bayes, who took over as caretaker boss after Love’s departure last season, as a second assistant.
Former Town U18 boss Steve Hooper will be the new first team coach.
Moffatt added: “With Mark having been here before, we felt it was a bit of natural continuity because the players know him.
“He took us on that great 12-match winning run and even though the second season didn’t go like we wanted, it doesn’t make him a bad manager.
“I think he may realise that leaving and going to Witney was a mistake and he definitely feels like it’s unfinished business for him here.
“We’ve confident for the future because we’ve got some great young talent coming through and we want to try and bring as much of that through as we can.
“One great example is a lad called Robbie Whyte who started last season in the U16s, then moved up through the U18s and the reserves right through to the first team.”