Catlin sets his sight on promotion with AFC Portchester

Mick Catlin has become joint-boss at AFC Portchester. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160984-7)
Mick Catlin has become joint-boss at AFC Portchester. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160984-7)
Mick Catlin. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Robbie Pitman was on target for Fareham Town. Picture Ian Hargreaves

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Mick Catlin has targeted promotion with AFC Portchester after being appointed joint-manager at the Blanchard Wells Stadium.

The non-league veteran took the helm alongside Ian Saunders at the Royals earlier this week and is relishing his new challenge.

Catlin left Gosport Borough last month after turning down a joint-managerial role with reinstalled boss Alex Pike.

That prompted Portchester manager Saunders to contact his close friend and offer him shared responsibilities at the Royals.

The pair have worked together at Chichester and Fleet Town previously.

Catlin revealed he has a similar footballing philosophy to Saunders and believes their qualities can complement each other.

He said: ‘Myself and Ian have worked together in the past.

‘About 10 years ago I was manager of Chichester. He was my assistant there and also at Fleet, while he played for me at the Hawks.

‘When I left Gosport he rang me and said he wanted to work together and feels we can take the club forward.

‘I wanted to get back into football and it seemed an attractive proposition.

‘Leaving Gosport wasn’t my doing – I was put in a position where I didn’t have a lot of choice really.

‘Ian is a good friend of mine, I trust him and we have similar views on how the game should be played and the type of player we like.

‘He’s asking me to come in and work with him. That wasn’t the case at Gosport – I was the manager and was quite happy being the manager as that’s the job I applied for and that was the job I was offered.

‘Ian is quite happy for me to come in and doesn’t feel it is a negative on his behalf. He was the one that instigated it – it’s a totally different scenario.

‘From Ian’s point of view, it gives him a bit more experience with and knowing a different pool of player to try to attract to the club.’

Portchester are currently sixth in the Wessex League premier division.

Catlin’s main aim at the Royals is to move the club up the non-league pyramid.

The new joint-boss has not ruled out promotion this season if Portchester can hit a run of winning form.

Catlin added: ‘Hopefully we can and try to get the club out of the Wessex League – that’s the chairman’s aim. I am very impressed with the set-up and what they’ve done to the ground in a short space of time.

‘Now we need the results to match that. People keep saying they have underachieved. The only way to get rid of that tag is start winning things and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

‘We are only at halfway. Whether that’s achievable will be a tough test and we need to try to win as many games as we can from now until the end of the season.’