First coaching role for former Hawks and Gosport defender Brett Poate at Moneyfields

Dave Carter has made two changes to his backroom team as he aims to put Moneyfields’ ‘disastrous’ 2019/20 season firmly behind them.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 11:29 am
Brett Poate in action for Moneyfields

Former Hawks and Gosport Borough defender Brett Poate has been appointed head coach, while Gavin Spurway steps up from his coaching role to replace Mat Jones as Carter’s assistant manager.

Jones left Dover Road last month, and has since taken up a position in Shaun Wilkinson’s coaching staff at Baffins Milton Rovers.

Poate, 36, has been at Moneys since January 2017, signing for Carter shortly after his six-year stay at Privett Park had come to an end. He had previously played for Hawks between 2003-2009 before moving to Eastleigh – then managed by Ian Baird, his former Westleigh Park manager - for two seasons.

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Moneyfields manager Dave Carter. Picture: Vernon Nash

The one-time Southampton FC youngster played 14 times that season as Moneys went on to win promotion from the Wessex League, and he has remained a regular in the club’s three seasons of step 4 football since.

‘Brett’s a great lad and he’s well respected in the dressing room,’ said Carter.

‘He phoned me a few weeks ago and said he’d been out for a run and he thought his playing days were coming to an end.

‘He’s had a couple of offers from clubs to do some coaching, so my first instinct was to think ‘rather than go there, why not stay with us?’

Gavin Spurway in action during his time at Horndean. Picture: Malcolm Wells

‘It was something we had spoken about last season anyway.’

Poate will still be making himself available as a player in 2020/21, if required.

Spurway is also no stranger to Moneyfields, having been signed by Carter shortly after he became boss in November 2015.

Carter had previously signed the midfielder during his time as Horndean manager.

Spurway made 36 appearances for Moneys during their 2016/17 Wessex promotion season, half of them as a substitute, before calling time on his playing career and moving into coaching.

‘I’ve known Gav a long time,’ said Carter. ‘He’s a good friend of mine. We work out of the same office so we’re always talking.

‘Gav and Brett are both hungry, they’ve got the bit between their teeth.’

Spurway - a Fareham Town regular from 2007/08 to 2010/11 inclusive - said: ‘I got a call to say the coaching staff was being reshaped, Poatey was coming in and would I be prepared to step up?

‘I’m happy to work with Mobey (Carter), I’ve known him a long time, I know how he works.

‘No disrespect to Mat or anything, but I hope I can help them kick on even more.’

He recalled: ‘When we stepped up (into the Southern League in 2017/18) I could have dropped back down a level and carried on playing.

‘But coaching is always something I wanted to do, and I thought I might not get this sort of opportunity again at the level we were at.

‘This is a good level, there are some teams, we play at some good grounds.

‘I want to keep progressing and so do the club, we want to keep pushing forward.’

Carter admits that Moneys are going through a ‘massive transition’ phase with the start of their new £3.5m ground redevelopment scheme due to start this year.

The stadium - featuring a 3G pitch and to be named after Portsmouth’s D-Day hero John Jenkins - should be ready by the start of the 2021/22 season.

‘I’ve met with the committee and they’ve told me their ambitions are to maintain our Southern League status next season,’ Carter said.

‘The budget has been slightly cut - but that’s going to happen to most people in football - but I’ll be looking at the play-offs.’

After numerous seasons of progress, Moneys endured a tough 2019/20. They were third bottom of the Southern League Division 1 South when the season was halted, albeit 11 points clear of the relegation place and with games in hand on most of their rivals.

They had reached the semi-finals of the Hampshire Senior Cup for the first time in their history, and were still in the Portsmouth Senior Cup they won in 2017/18.

‘Last season was disastrous from start to finish,’ Carter recalled.

‘Steve Hutchings missed the start, Ryan Pennery picked up a serious injury, that was a massive loss to us, Lewis Fennemore had a few injuries, Brett had a few injuries, I took some time off.

‘Things just went from bad to worse, but we have to put all that behind us now and get things right again.’

Spurway agreed: ‘I felt last season anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Hopefully we’ve used all our bad luck up in that season.

‘Looking back it was hard, we were beating ourselves up at times about it.’

Moneyfields players were returning to training this week in small groups, but Carter expects the current August 15 start date for the 2020/21 Southern League campaign to be pushed back into the following month at best.