Fleetlands boss Bessey delighted to add former Moneyfields’ ‘serial winners’ to his coaching staff

Rich Bessey believes bolstering his Fleetlands management staff with two new additions can only aid the club's ambition of finally reaching the Wessex League.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 9:34 am
Stevie Dalton has joined Fleetlands' coaching staff

Both Paul O'Rielly and Stevie Dalton have joined the Coptermen as first team coaches after leaving Moneyfields Reserves in March.

Manager O'Rielly had gone unbeaten in 24 Hampshire Premier League Division 1 matches in charge of Moneys over the course of two pandemic-ravaged seasons - winning 22 of those games.

Meanwhile, Dalton held a coaching position at Dover Road after being asked to come on board by O'Rielly at the start of 2019-20.

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Fleetlands will now boast a management staff of five with Bessey joined by assistant manager Chris Blakeman, his new first team coaching pair and fitness coach Howard Dove.

The Coptermen boss believes it'll be a case of the bigger the better - and insisted it will provide Fleetlands the best chance of achieving that coveted Wessex League promotion.

Bessey said: 'For me, it’s a great link. These two guys, successfully for two seasons, have achieved. They haven’t lost a game in the past two league seasons.

‘Unfortunately for them, Glenn (Turnbull, new Moneyfields manager), has brought in his own team which I totally respect - Glenn is a top bloke. It means these guys are out of football.

‘Where we fell foul last year was our coaching wasn’t up to scratch.

‘These two are serial winners, they’re going to add to what we’ve already got, we’ll share some roles and duties.

‘Can you get around and talk to all the players before the game and explain why you’re on the bench and why you’re starting?

'We’re all volunteers and there will be jobs shared - it’s something that I look forward to. I’ll stay as manager and we’ll have a great team underneath me.

‘We’ve got four heads plus me, we’ve got five experienced heads now, and we’ve got to get out of the league.

‘They all offer different skill sets and attributes so it was a no-brainer for me.'

Dalton also brings some management experience of his own, having guided naval team HMS Collingwood to successive United Services League titles in 2018 and 2019.

He also coached for Gosport FC Youth briefly prior to linking up with O'Rielly at Moneys.

Having pushed to get into the HPL Senior Division with Moneyfields, Dalton is excited to be part of a club already established at that level and eager to progress to the Wessex.

He said: ‘I just think we bring the best out in each other (with Paul). Everyone has got different opinions and I just hope we can do that with Rich as well.

‘They’ve got a good set up, a good team and good staff already over there (at Fleetlands).

‘It’s just making sure we blend in; we might have different ideas, we might have a different outlook on the players with fresh eyes coming in.

‘To be now at that level (HPL top-flight), with that ambition to get into the Wessex, that’ll be the main driver this year, the club’s 75th anniversary, to give Rich a boost and see where we can go.'

Fleetlands were hoping to win promotion to step 6 this year as part of the FA’s non-league restructuring, but had to watch on as they were overlooked in favour of HPL rivals Bush Hill and Infinity.