Former Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon ace Danny Kedwell will make a success of his Cray Wanderers player-manager role, says Hawks boss Paul Doswell

Danny Kedwell will prove a success after taking his first step into management at Cray Wanderers.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:44 pm
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:53 pm
Former Hawks striker Danny Kedwell. Picture: Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

That's the verdict of the striker's former manager and friend Paul Doswell who has spent the past two coronavirus pandemic-hit National League South seasons working with the ex-Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon ace at Havant & Waterlooville.

For the prolific forward, 37, his focus will be largely on the impact he can have from the touchline rather than finding the net on the field for the first time in his career.

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But Doswell, who first took Kedwell to the Hawks in the summer of 2019 before re-signing him for a brief spell this term before the National South and North seasons were null and voided, is tipping his former striker to prove a hit as a manager.The Hawks boss admitted it came as no surprise to receive a call from the ex-Gills and Ebbsfleet goal ace regarding his move into management.

And Doswell believes the level Kedwell reached as a player will ensure he'll have the immediate respect of the dressing room at Cray.

Doswell said: ‘It’s a great first job for him. Cray are a good club and I think the chairman has got big plans for a big stadium and other bits and pieces down there.

‘It’s an area that he knows well as well, it’s local to him, he’ll know the players around that area as well.

‘I’ve got no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a success.

‘I think he’ll be a very good manager. I know that he’ll demand a lot from his players.

‘I’ve known him for a long, long time and it doesn’t surprise me as he’s always had it in him to want to continue in football.

‘We had a really nice chat for around an hour on Saturday and I think it’s a really good move for him.

‘Danny has been in some big dressing rooms at Gillingham and Wimbledon - he’ll have instant respect from players because he’s played at a really good level - he’s also carried on playing until 36 and 37.

‘Ultimately, he’ll get instant respect because of the level that he’s already been at and rightly so.’

Doswell has long known the striker after coming up against him during his time as Sutton boss.The Hawks manager says the pair are similar in terms of their 'obsession' with the game.

And Doswell would be more than happy to offer his help whenever he can as Kedwell takes the leap into management.

Doswell added: ‘He’s forever out watching games. He’s always out with his son taking him to Charlton to watch how Charlton do it. He’s very much like me, sort of obsessed with football, being involved in football.

‘It’s something which didn’t surprise me. It’s a really good move for him.

‘I’ve known Danny for donkey’s years. He played against me at Sutton for years but he’s just a great lad. He’s football mad, he’s a very good coach as well - people don’t know that - but he does a lot of coaching up to the under-16s with his academy at Ebbsfleet which is going very well as well.

‘We all go through those two or three games on the trot (without winning). When you’re a manager it’s always nice to have someone on the other end of the phone that’s experienced the highs and lows in the job.

‘He’s a mate of mine so I’ve got no issues with helping him whatsoever, I’d love to help him.’