Toolstation Sodbury put their faith in father and son White combination
STEVE White is backing his son to play an integral part in rekindling Chipping Sodbury Town’s fortunes.
The Toolstation Premier Division club have appointed their 28-yearold centre-forward Joe White as manager – and installed his father Steve, the one-time Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Swindon Town striker, as head coach.
White Snr explained: “Joe is keen to get into coaching. He’s currently taking his B-licence badge and he believes he has it in him to take on the manager’s job at Chipping Sodbury and do it well.
“He’s not only had experience of playing at Paulton, Odd Down, Chippenham and Shortwood, among other clubs, at the level having begun his career as a pro at Bristol Rovers, but he undertook a three-year sports course at Hartpury College where he played, too, as well as at Filton Academy.
“Joe’s now teaching maths and PE in Swindon and it’s all helped develop his maturity and communication skills, which of course you need in football management.
“He asked me if I’d be willing to act as his mentor at Sodbury, to help on matchdays and any other areas in an advisory capacity – and I was happy to oblige.”
White, who famously won Swindon the penalty in a 4-3 play-off final victory over Leicester City at Wembley which led to them reaching the Premier League in 1993, said: “Joe was there that day and I want to now support him in any way I can. Together he and I want to try and help the club stabilise.
“Chipping Sodbury have done so well over the past decade or so to rise up through the local leagues on limited resources and get to where they are today.
“So much of that is down to our chairman, Mike Fox, who has put so much time, effort and resources into building up the infrastructure here, along with people like Les Theobald, Scott Gibson and Jeff Harper.
“We have a good nucleus of players, but we do need three or four more experienced ones as we’re a young side in need of more guidance. We also need to improve our disciplinary record. We’ve had too many yellow and red cards and we had another sending-off (Luke Burman) in our (2-0) defeat by Cribbs in the GFA Trophy on Tuesday night.”
Sodbury travel to Hallen tomorrow buoyed by last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Bradford Town – only their second win of the season – which lifted them off the bottom of the table.
The 59-year-old White, who managed Chippenham Town between 2003 and 2005, is targeting at least eight more wins in the belief it will be enough to avert relegation, although he warned: “It’s a tough ask, all of it, because you always know the top teams can attract the pick of the best players.”
Hengrove Athletic are offering half-price admission to season ticket holders from Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town for tomorrow’s home game against Clevedon Town at Paprika Park (3pm).
Supporters of the three clubs can pay just £3 (adults) and £1.50 (concessions) if they show their respective season tickets at the gate. Neither City nor Yeovil are in action due to the international break, while Rovers are at Burton Albion.
Club secretary Martin McConachie said: “The match coincides with Non-League Day, an annual national event to trumpet local grassroots clubs and their place in the community.
“We’d love to be people’s second club, while anyone coming to the Clevedon game can take advantage of Hengrove season tickets selling for just £70 (£35 concessions) on the day, which will include admission to all 14 remaining home games and a free matchday programme each week.”
The FA Vase dominates proceedings tomorrow with first- round ties at home for Roman Glass St George (v Malmesbury Victoria), Cadbury Heath (v Sidmouth Town) and Longwell Green Sports (v Brockenhurst).
Bitton and Cribbs are both away to Hellenic League opposition, against Almondsbury and Brimscombe and Thrupp respectively.
Clive Scott is making no secret of his wish for Welton Rovers this term – a top-two promotion place.
His First Division pacesetters, who reached the second round of the Somerset Premier Cup on Wednesday with a 5-4 penalty shootout success at Larkhall, host Sherborne tomorrow with six straight league wins behind them.
“The aim has to be promotion and I feel it’s well within our reach if we can continue in this rich vein,” said Scott. “Not all our performances have been great, but we’ve shown we can scrap for wins when required and there’s a belief among the group that we can do well.”
New boss Jon Toy has wasted no time in introducing new faces at Oldland Abbotonians.
While a clutch of debutants were on show in last weekend’s 1-0 away win at Devizes Town, another newcomer could be found in the technical area in the shape of Marc Ford.
The former Exeter City centrehalf has replaced Ian Logan-Giles as assistant manager and Toy, who side host Chippenham Park tomorrow, said: “Marc and I have been friends for a long time. We played together in our prime and he has a lot of experience and wide range of contacts.”
Liam Villis, who scored the winner at Devizes, was among the fresh faces on show at Nursteed Road, along with Bath City under-21s Roberto Maione and James Richmond.
Oldland are also set to sign young defender Cody Vile from Bristol Telephones, while goalkeeper Chris Manns has turned down an approach from Premier side Westbury United for his services. “We’re delighted with that as Chris was outstanding against Devizes,” said Oldland spokesman Paul Bray.
Chipping Sodbury’s Justin Bishop, left, in action during this season’s FA Cup defeat to Bristol Manor Farm