ROMSEY Town have named a 21-year-old as successor to Carl Bennett and John McFarlane at the Bypass Ground.
James Phillips has been unveiled as Town’s new head coach, making him one of the youngest bosses in both club and Sydenhams Wessex League history.
He will be supported by the experience of former Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea, QPR and Wigan coach Chris McGinn who is coming in as Romsey’s senior football consultant. A talented and well qualified coach, Phillips joined Romsey as assistant reserve team manager at the start of last season before taking over the reins.
He went on to lead the side on impressive runs in the Southampton Senior and Hampshire Intermediate cups and is currently working towards his UEFA B Licence.
He has been handed a three-year contract and been tasked with focusing on “stability, continuity and the long-term development” as Romsey look to bounce back from relegation to Sydenhams One.
“I’m obviously delighted to be given the opportunity by the club of head coach and am very excited about imposing my style and footballing beliefs into the team,” said Phillips.
“We will be working closely with the lads to develop and improve them as individuals as well as, hopefully, into a successful team.
“Everyone at the club is very disappointed to have been relegated this season, but we now have a new season to prepare for and look forward to and this gives us the opportunity to rebuild and create something special over the next few years.”
Phillips’ appointment is part of a new youthful approach designed to help Romsey return to the Sydenhams top flight and beyond.
Working closely with Romsey Town Youth FC and other local clubs, they aim to bring young, local talent through the ranks.
McGinn’s appointment is a major coup for the club. He spent nine years as a coach at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and worked with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas and Fabrice Muamba.
He is currently a coach with the Great Britain Deaf team and also a well respected FA tutor.
“I’m delighted to be able to add my support to the club and obviously help them and James in any capacity I can,” said McGinn.
“When Phil (Rowland, Romsey’s vice-chairman) approached me, outlined the vision the club has going forward and its philosophy towards the development of players, I was delighted to be part of it.
“I think the next few years could be very exciting for Romsey Town, on and off the pitch.
“If by adding my experience and support we can achieve the club’s vision, then I’m proud to be able to play my part.”