Tool­sta­tion Sodbury put their faith in fa­ther and son White com­bi­na­tion

Bristol Post - - SPORT - Si­mon PARKIN­SON post­

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Kent

Chip­ping Sodbury’s Justin Bishop, left, in ac­tion dur­ing this sea­son’s FA Cup de­feat to Bris­tol Manor Farm

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