New boss wants more ‘steel and grit’ at Debenham LC

Debenham LC defender Tom Fenner, left, in action against Ryan Taylor of Team Bury

Debenham LC defender Tom Fenner, left, in action against Ryan Taylor of Team Bury - Credit: Archant

INTERIM first-team manager Stuart Reavell is trying to instil “steel and grit” into his Debenham Leisure Centre side.

Reavell has been appointed until the end of the season, after Dale Vince recently decided to quit at the Thurlow Nunn League Division One club.

The 35-year-old previously managed Tacket Street in Division Three of the SIL before moving on to Whitton United, where he coached the under-12s and under-18s, who won two cups, before stepping up to the reserves.

After several months out of the game he moved to Ipswich Wanderers as a coach alongside manager Steve Buckle.

He then took a break for a couple of years before joining Debenham LC shortly before Jason Pettit, who was joint manager with Vince, moved to Felixstowe.

And after moving up from first-team coach to interim first-team manager, Reavell admitted he wants the job full time.

“I would love the job on a permanent basis,” said Reavell, who saw some positives in his first match in charge, a 3-1 loss at home to Whitton United last Saturday.

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He said: “We matched them quite well. We worked really hard throughout the game and in fairness if we had more composure we would have got a point.

“We drew level at 1-1 after 70 minutes, but unfortunately they have a very quick player in Chris Williams and he caught us on the break.

“But we didn’t give up and kept battling – I am trying to instil some steel and grit into the side – and we responded well, whereas previously we would have laid down and died.”

Reavell, whose side sit third-from-bottom, should have two new signings in his line-up to travel to mid-table Halstead Town this afternoon.

Centre back Grant Abbitt has signed from Touchline SIL Division One side BT Trimley along with 16-year-old goalkeeper Dave Gilbert, who was previously with Ipswich Town’s Academy.

“Grant has not played regularly this season, but he is a strong lad who will bring more organisation at the back,” said Reavell.

“He will add experience to our young centre back pair of Chris Brock and Tom Fenner.

“Dave has a good pedigree and is currently having trials with Colchester United, but will definitely play on Saturday.

“Apart from Robbie Kemp and Nathan Vincent, who are coming towards the end of their careers, we have a very young side.”

Looking ahead to his first away match Reavell added: “I have been there before and Halstead away is never an easy game.

“We will go there with a strong midfield and hopefully deal with them and try to play attacking football on the counter.”