Clive Blunt will continue in his role as Newhaven Under 18s Manager for the 2023/24 season.
Following a successful first season at the helm of the young Dockers, Blunt had little hesitation in signing on for another campaign
However, after winning the League Cup last time out, and going close in the league, it’s a very different challenge that awaits Blunt this season.
“A lot of last year’s squad are now too old for the Under 18s, so it’s a bit of a rebuild,” explains Blunt. “We’re currently running trials and I’ve been really impressed by what I’ve seen so far. If we can get a few of the players that we’re looking at through the door, then we’ll be alright.”
While he was obviously delighted to win silverware last season, Blunt was equally proud to see a number of his young starlets make the step up and gain appearances for the first team. Most notably his son, Ryan, who ended up being named the Manager’s Player of the Year for the first team.
“I’m here to develop players and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” he says. “I’m looking forward to starting to work closely with Luke [Carter, the new Under 23s managers] to continue to produce players good enough to progress and play senior football.
So with only a few players from last season’s successful squad remaining, does Blunt feel less pressure this year to produce results with what will be a youthful squad?
“No,” he laughs. “I’ll always put pressure on myself to create a winning side. It’ll probably be a bit harder this year, a challenge, but one that I’m really looking forward to!”
Joining Clive in the dug-out this season will be another of his sons, Callum, who will act as his assistant. “He goes to most games with me, and we’re always bouncing ideas off each other, so it will be good to have him alongside me,” says Clive.
It’s looking like it could be something of a transitional year for the Under 18s this season. However, with Team Blunt in control, you can be sure that it won’t be too long before we start seeing more young Dockers moving up through the ranks!