Farnham Town have chosen their managerial team which they hope will lead a promotion challenge next season.
The Combined Counties Premier South club have turned to Sean Birchnall, a vastly-experienced coach, to head up a new-look managerial set-up.
Birchnall was head coach of the Army football side and led them to Inter-Services and Southern Counties Cup triumphs.
Last season he was head coach at Winchester City, as number two to manager Craig Davis, and helped them win promotion to the Southern Premier League South for the first time in their history.
He will be assisted by coach Dean Greenwood, who has previously worked at Ashford and Knaphill, and Dan Goodall, who steps up from masterminding the success of Farnham’s under-18 and under-23 sides.
In another move, keeper Richard Ossai will become goalkeeper coach, and former Town striker Matt Bunyan will join the coaching staff.
Town chairman Paul Tanner said: “I have worked with Sean before and I’m delighted he has agreed to join us. All these people know me, and know the club and how we want to progress.
“Sean will head everything up and the others will assist him. They have the experience, the background, and the skill to do well for us. Sean will bring a good balance of man-management skills and a very high coaching level to our club, and his knowledge of the game at our level and above is very, very good.
“His playing style fits with what we hope to be watching.
“I think he will be a very good fit for us. As a management team, Sean and Dean have experience of Step 4 and Step 3, Dan has the knowledge of our young players and can develop and nurture them, and Matt and Rich will work well with the players. It’s a good blend.
“They are all good people who know the game and know how to run the game and have a lot of tactical ability.
“I’m excited by it – but I thought the last two appointments would work out, and we know what happened there!
“They are all aware where we want to be as a club, and I appreciate it probably won’t be a quick fix.”
Now the off-the-field team is in place, the club can begin to shape their playing squad for the new season.
Tanner said he wasn’t aware of any players who had said they would be leaving, but that things would become clear during the summer.
“I am sure there will be players who may be tempted elsewhere and I’m also sure that, like all new managers and coaches, they will assess the squad and have their own ideas how they want to strengthen things.
“The club will obviously try to back them the best way we can to do that, and by early pre-season we will have a much better idea of who is staying, who is going and who we will be bringing in.
“We don’t want players coming on board for the short term. We want people buying in to what we are aiming for – we want some longevity and want to see progression, for things to be happier at the club and for results to improve.
“We dropped comfortably 20 points last season by a lack of quality at certain times on the field and players being mismanaged and not giving the performances they should.
“If we can sort that out, those 20 points would see us in a position to be challenging in the top six and push for something.
“We know the experience and know-how is within this new group. We are in this for the long term now. I don’t think we will have any of the hiccups we had over the past two years – things will be a bit calmer now, with good people in those key positions.”