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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Restless Rudge up for the challenge
THE SLEEPLESS nights have already begun for Nathan Rudge but Chippenham Town’s new player-manager insists he’s relishing the challenge of taking charge of the Bluebirds next season.
The Hardenhuish Park club announced last week that Adie Mings would move upstairs to become their new director of football and that 32-year-old defender Rudge would be taking over first-team affairs.
Ex-Tiverton Town man Rudge, who was initially lined up as Mings’ assistant, says that he’s already put his mind to the task of shaping his side for next season and the challenge of taking over at Chippenham was too enticing to turn down.
“I went in to a meeting to be Adie’s assistant, which was all sorted for me, and one thing led to another,” said Rudge, pictured below.
“It’s come along sooner than I thought but I’ve never shirked the challenge as a player and I’m certainly not going to shirk it as a manager.
“I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get started.
“It sounds ridiculous but I’ve had things whirring around in my head already and I think I’ve had about five hours sleep in the last two weeks.
“The other night I woke up at four in the morning and thought of a player so I went downstairs and wrote it down on a bit of paper.
“Everyone’s invited back to pre-season so there’s no-one going out at the minute.
“Everyone gets the opportunity to come back in the summer and prove their worth but I am looking to bring some in.
“If I can put a team together next year and I don’t need to play because the boys are doing it, then I’m more than happy not to.”
Rudge, who works as a manager for a glazing company, admits that the switch from player to player-manager will be tough but says that he can count on people around him to make the transition a smooth one.
He said: “People might think it’s just training on Tuesday and Thursday and putting your team out on a Saturday but it’s a full time job.
“I’ve got to try and combine it with my job in the week too so it will be tough.
“It’s going to be a lot of hard work for me during the summer but my father-in-law, Martyn Rogers (former Tiverton boss), was a manager for 20 years so I’ve got good people around me, like Adie too, who’s invaluable for me as a young manager.
“I’ve got my family as well too but my wife’s been brought up with it and she’s been good as gold.”
Rudge’s appointment comes as the club announced the formation of their new second team and the new Chippenham chief backed the Bluebirds’ reshuffle, including the appointment of Mings as director of football.
“When you’re running a youth team, the players are leaving and going to other clubs so we’re paying for everyone else’s benefit but ourselves,” said Rudge.
“So it makes sense. It’ll bridge the gap and it’ll be run by good people.
“Adie is the man with the experience he’s got and the passion he drives towards Chippenham. He’s Chippenham born and bred, so there’s not really a better person to lead the charge than him.”
The set-up of the new, as yet unnamed Hardenhuish Park side is being financed by the Bluebirds board and chairman John Applegate is pleased with the reaction to the ambitious reshuffle.
He said: “In the main, it’s been very positive and I’ve had people saying they like the set-up.
“We’ve got a lot to do, so hopefully people will recognise what we’re trying to do and we’ll get a good support again next season.”