05:45PM, Wednesday 18 May 2022
Photo: Jonathan Bowker
Holyport FC have confirmed Sam Lock will be stepping into the role of first team manager following the announcement that Derek Sweetman has relieved himself of managerial duties and is becoming the club’s ambassador.
Sweetman and Lock achieved their target of avoiding relegation last season and the latter was a massive part of that, according to Port, who said ‘his homework on other teams and drafting players in to move the squad forward did not go unnoticed’.
Once it became apparent that Sweetman would be moving upstairs, the board only had one target in mind to keep progressing the club.
“Sam more than deserves his chance to put his stamp on the side and to progress the side at step 5,” said vice chairman Chris Ward in a club statement.
“We are all under no illusion that step 5 is a massive step up from step 6 and we saw that last season. The players took great strides last season, and we are keen to see their progress. We wish Sam the very best this season and he knows he has the board’s full backing.”
Speaking to the Advertiser earlier this week, Lock said he is delighted to be at the helm of Holyport FC and is keen to repay the club with success in the forthcoming season for all the faith they have put in him.
He also expressed his huge admiration and apprecation of Sweetman, as without him, Lock said he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’ve got lots of energy, lots of ideas and I want to repay the club for all the faith they have put in me with a successful season,” he said.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s the perfect role for me. I’ve got the ability to find myself as a manager, I can work on how I want my team to play, I can implement different tactics, and I’ve got the full backing of the club.
“We haven’t got the money of Flackwell Heath, Windsor, or Ascot United but we will be a very hard-working team. I’m fortunate that I’ve worked with a lot of players during the last 10 years or so, so I like to think I can make a competitive squad.
Lock added: “I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t be in this position, or even have got back into football, if it wasn’t for Sweets. I owe him everything. He is the nicest man in football and people love him, players die for him on the pitch. I’m really glad he has decided to take an ambassador role at the club so that he’s still able to support me as and when he’s not playing golf.
“He deserves all the appreciation in the world. What he’s done for grassroots and local football is amazing. I wish him all the best and I am pleased to be staying in regular contact with him.”
The club have said they will announce Lock’s staff in due course along with the full pre-season schedule which will see training commence on June 28.
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