AFTER 13 months out of the game, brothers Stuart and Matt Hussey are set for a return to Sydenhams Premier management with Totton & Eling tonight.
The pair have been confirmed as successors to ex-Saint Kevin Dawtry, who is standing down after five-and-a-half years in the job.
Dawtry had been due to lead the team one last time at Newport IoW on Wednesday, but that game was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
He now hands the mantle to the Hussey brothers who will take their first game in charge at Alton Town this evening (7.45).
Having previously managed Winchester City and Lymington Town under testing circumstances, the Husseys are looking forward to a more straightforward task with a club closer to their Southampton roots.
“At Winchester and at Lymington, in particular, we took over a massively depleted set-up,” said Stuart who, at 32, is four years Matt’s junior.
“But at Totton & Eling the team’s already in place and hopefully we’ll only need to add a few to build a squad which could hopefully look to finish top-four next season.
“Matt and I are definitely up for the challenge. We hadn’t looked to get back involved since leaving Lymington 13 months ago, but we’ve got the feel for it again. “We were offered three or four jobs with clubs that needed turning around, but we didn’t want to go through that again.
“Whereas at Winchester and Lymington we were under a fair bit of pressure, we don’t feel that coming here.
“Totton & Eling’s a different kind of challenge. This time it’s purely about the football. There are already decent players at the club and we’ll add one or two and see where it takes us.
“We’ve got the utmost respect for what Kev Dawtry’s done and we’re fortunate to be going to a club that is mid-table and with good facilities.”
The location is also a big plus for the new bosses who live just a couple of motorway junctions away in Hedge End.
“It’s well documented that Totton & Eling don’t pay players, but for the first time we’re actually managing a Wessex League club in the Southampton area where all our contacts are. In the past we’ve had to pay expenses for travelling,” said the younger Hussey The new bosses already have two squad additions lined up.
Former AFC Totton midfielder Gareth Byers is dual-signing from Southern One Central outfit Fleet Town and centre-back Iain Calder is transferring from Sydenhams rivals Romsey.
Both played for the Husseys at Lymington, along with established T&E trio Adam Lowther, Danny Steer and Mark Lloyd.
There is also a chance that Shaun Hughes, former Blackfield & Langley centre-back and skipper, will be joining the Millers for training after more than a year out injured.