Thu, 10 Oct 2019
ASSISTANT manager Kevin Watson admitted that it has been a ‘real wrench’ to leave Hungerford Town.
Watson, who spent 15 months at Bulpit Lane, has joined the coaching team at National League side Ebbsfleet United with immediate effect.
“It was a real wrench to leave the club,” Watson said after making the decision. “I told Spud [manager Ian Herring] a day before the lads knew, so I took the final training session last Tuesday and I was aware it’d be my last one.
“We got the lads in and told them. It was very emotional because I have been with a lot of them for 15 months now and we’ve become close.
“Spud and I have become very good friends and it was difficult.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Reading midfielder said a number of factors contributed to his decision in leaving Hungerford.
He said: “It’s not just because Ebbsfleet are in the division above, but the whole daytime training, full-time work and how it’s only 35 minutes from my house played a major part in my decision to want to move on.
“Spud was fully aware that if something came up on a full-time basis, then I’d have to seriously consider it.
“I still speak to Spud every day. I still talk to him about the team as if I am still there, so I am leaving a lot of friends behind because it’s a good club.
“It has a lot of great people involved there and I have a lot to be grateful to Ian for because he took me from having no job to being involved again at Conference South level.
“I will be forever grateful towards him and I have certainly made a friend for life in him.”
Watson helped steer the Crusaders away from the relegation zone in the National League South last year, a moment he will remember forever.
He said: “We knew all along that it was going to go to the wire, but the win at Torquay was a magnificent day and it proved pivotal.
“There was a crowd of over 5,500 fans and we had 54 of our fantastic supporters, who are the best group of fans and most loyal group I have ever come across in my career.
“On the last day of the season, all that mattered was the result and it led to a very nice celebration after the game.
“I have lots of fond memories of a very good club and they know I’ll be back when I can.
Although Hungerford are sitting bottom of the National League South after 12 games, Watson is confident they can turn it around.
“The players have to keep doing what they can do,” he admitted. “I know it’s not been plain sailing, but they proved at Dulwich and Slough what they can do.
“It will be a battle again, but in Spud they have a winner because he has never been relegated in his career and it’s not going to happen this year, I’m sure.
“They have to keep listening to Spud because he is going to be a very good coach and a very good manager.
“He knows what he wants and he knows the game because he has played many games at various levels.”
Watson was also full of praise for the supporters and hasn’t ruled out returning to the club in some capacity one day.
He said: “I want to thank them for making me feel more than welcome and I am extremely appreciative for all of their support, especially through the tough times.
“Each and every one of them are good people and it’s very sad that it’s come to me leaving.
“Football is a very fickle game and no job is guaranteed, so I could be back some day.”