JOHN Pyatt summed up his swift return to football management in just four words: “It’s in my blood.”
After a time-consuming and ultimately fruitless fight to keep Bashley’s heads above water in the Southern Premier Division last season, it would have been entirely understandable if Pyatt had opted to take some time out of the game.
But when his old club Lymington Town came calling, there was little he could do to stop the football management bug biting again.
“It’s in my blood,” he said. “I’ll give (former Sholing manager) Dave Diaper a year or two and he’ll be back too!
“I was at Lymington for eight or nine years before and had some great times there.
“This time I’m going back with a couple of young lads helping me out on the management team.
“Nic Jones, who was a goalkeeper at Bashley, is joining me as co-manager.
“I got to know Nic at Bashley and he’s a brilliant lad. He’s not looking to play too many games this year but he wants to get into management.
“I’m bringing in Warren Kenna as playercoach and (ex-Christchurch assistant boss) Bob Sullivan is also helping out.
“Bob was with me at Brockenhurst and has been with Lymington before, and his son Ben plays as well.
“It’s good to have younger lads like Nic and Warren on the management side because they’ve got great a relationship with some of the younger players.”
Looking back on his previous spell at Lymington evokes bitter-sweet memories for Pyatt.
On the one hand it was a time of great footballing satisfaction with the club winning the old Wessex Division Two (now One) title ahead of Poole Town in 2004/05 and lifting the Sydenhams League Cup two years later.
But all that was tragically overshadowed by events off the field with Pyatt suffering the unbearable heartache of losing his wife and daughter to cancer in the space of six months.
“I only left Lymington in the first place for family reasons,” Pyatt recalled.
“Those are some really sad memories for me and my head wasn’t right at the time.
“But I also have some great memories of the club. I made a lot of friends at Lymington and I’ve got a lot of time for the place and the people on the committee.
“There’s always a great rapport over there and they’re good footballing people.
“There’s a lot going on there too with planning permission coming through to extend the clubhouse.
“I’m looking forward to going back and actually winning a few games!”
Winning was an all too rare occurence at Bashley where Pyatt and co-boss Paul Gazzard fought valiantly to keep the team afloat against a backdrop of budget cuts and behind-the-scenes upheavals.
They finally called it a day in mid-May, five days after a boardroom takeover had saved the ailing New Forest outfit from certain closure.
“I knew Gazza of old and he asked me to go across to Bashley and give him a hand and, despite everything, I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Pyatt.
“We only won four games, but it was a great learning curve for me managing at that level.
“It was all very professionally done with a dossier on each side we played and we visited some great grounds.”
Just prior to joining Bash last October, Pyatt had achieved his goal of leading Brockenhurst up as Sydenhams Division One champions just two years after relegation from the top flight.
“I’ve had some quite successful sides at Lymington and Brock and we’ll have a good little side again next season and give it a go,” he pledged.
“It’s too soon to talk about players, but at Lymington there’s always been a core of local lads and it’s important we keep them at the club.”