THE man who led Saints out at Wembley in 1992 is the new manager of Winchester City.

Glenn Cockerill, a veteran of over 350 league and cup appearances for Saints, was City owner Paul McCarthy’s quick choice following the sackings of brothers Stuart and Matt Hussey.

The 50-year-old Cockerill, who lives in Surrey, was due to take charge of the Sydenhams Wessex Premier club for the first time at Brockenhurst yesterday.

Cockerill returns to football man agement after a three-year absence after being relieved of his duties as Woking boss in 2007.

His initial plan to spend a year out of the game – to help look after his two youngest children – lasted longer than he wanted.

Despite his Premiership back- ground as a player and Conference background as Woking boss, Cockerill is not fussed about stepping right down to the Wessex League level.

“I’m excited about this,”

he told the Daily Echo.

“Winchester can be a massive club, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

“If I wanted an easy life I could go on the telly and talk about other players and other man agers.

“But I like a big challenge – after all, I’ve got five kids! – and I’m looking forward to it.”

Cockerill will be assisted by former Spurs, Pompey and Brighton defender Guy Butters, who is still playing regularly aged 39.

Cockerill had never spoken to McCarthy before he was phoned by the City owner on Thursday night.

“He had obviously done his homework on me and had got some favourable references,” said Cockerill, who was Chris Nicholl’s first signing as Saints manager in the summer of 1985 and who stayed at The Dell for eight years.

“I’ve got the chance to have a good look at the squad – after all, we can’t go down and we can’t go up – so I’m already looking towards next sea son.

“It gives me the chance to get to know Guy and vice versa.

“I have been doing some scouting for Carlisle recently, looking at the non league around here (in Surrey).

“But I’ve already had some calls from people I know down in Hampshire so I’m sure I’ll get to know the Wessex League quickly.”

Cockerill, who captained Saints in the 1992 Zenith Data Systems Cup final loss to Nottingham Forest, spent almost five years in charge of then Conference club Woking after being appointed in November 2002.

The Surrey club finished 9th, 8th and 11th in his first full three seasons in charge in the elite league of English non league football.

The Cards also reached the final of the 2006 FA Trophy, losing 2-0 to Grays at West Ham’s Upton Park.

Following on from Cockerill’s departure in 2007, Woking were relegated to the Blue Square South at the end of last season.

“I feel very proud of what I achieved there,”

he recalled.

“If it wasn’t for injuries and the budget I had we might have reached the play-offs in a couple of seasons.

“It’s sad to see what’s happened there since I left.”

The Daily Echo revealed on Friday that Stuart and Matt Hussey were stunned to be relieved of their positions after 28 league games in charge.

A Winchester City statement said: “Glenn Cockerill is a no nonsense boss who will be ruthless when coming to selection and has proven calibre at a higher level, managing in the Conference.

“Thanks are extended to both Stuart and Matthew who both did a good job and brought a lot to the club.

“But their position was questioned after some strange decisions behind closed doors.

“Communication with players was not what it should have been and having to put an attack ing player in goal two matches running, when there was a fit reserve goalkeeper, was the final straw after dropping points and being knocked out of a cup competition.

“They ultimately lost the dressing room.Both Stuart and Matthew had the full support of Paul McCarthy in every decision they made but this combination of problems and disagree ments brought their relationship with the club to and end.

“They are wished well for all they do in the future.We are all sure that Glenn Cockerill will bring experience and stability to the club and we fully believe that he can lead us to a positive end to the season.”