WEMBLEY winner Barry Mason has welcomed the appointment of Mick Marsh and Dave Fear as joint managers of FA Vase winners Sholing.
With elder statesmen Tyronne Bowers, Marc Diaper and Lee Bright all hanging up their boots, 29-year-old Mason will be one of the veterans of the Boatmen’s team as they head back to the Southern League next term.
He has only ever played for one manager, Dave Diaper, during his eight seasons at Portsmouth Road and is pleased the club are replacing their long-serving boss with two familiar faces.
Welcoming the appointment of head coach Marsh and reserves manager Fear, Mason said: “It’s good to know that people are coming in who are already part of the club and know how it’s run.
“It makes the transitional period a lot easier.
“Mick and Dave will make little tweaks here and there, I guess, but I can’t see them changing too much from what Diaps has got. Why fix it if it ain’t broken?
“They’ll probably add their own bit of style and we’ll kick on from there and hopefully go and win some more.”
With younger blood coming into the team, Mason – older brother of skipper, Byron – will relish the responsibility of becoming a senior squad member.
“Some of the lads are retiring and they couldn’t have asked for a better send-off than winning at Wembley,” he said.
“The rest of us will have individual chats with the managers when the time comes, but I’m hoping most us will stick together.
“I’ve got a lot of experience but I don’t wake up aching in the mornings like some of our older ones do – I’m a lot fitter than them!
“If I can pass on my experience to the young lads, I’m really happy to do that.”
Other than himself or brother Byron, Mason couldn’t have wished for a better goal scorer at Wembley than his childhood friend Marvin McLean.
The two families grew up together in St Mary’s and Mason – who has given his winners’ medal to his four-year-old son Omarion – said: “I’m so happy for Marvs.
“Some of the lads take the mickey and say he doesn’t score enough, but then he goes and scores the biggest goal in the club’s history!”
McLean, though, is a bit of a reluctant hero.
“He hates all the attention,” laughed Mason. “After the game he was getting poked left, right and centre to do interviews and he’s like ‘I’ve had enough of this already!’”