Former Paulsgrove boss Wayne Grant: Why I decided to step up to the Wessex League and take Infinity job

Wayne Grant is looking forward to the ‘new challenge’ of managing in the Wessex League.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 10:31 am
Former Paulsgrove manager Wayne Grant has taken over at Wessex Division 1 club Infinity. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Former Paulsgrove manager Wayne Grant has taken over at Wessex Division 1 club Infinity. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Less than a fortnight after his shock decision to resign as Paulsgrove boss, Grant has been unveiled as Infinity’s third permanent manager in a year after Gary Wheatcroft and Mark Dugan.

That was after Grant had received a phone call from Infinity owner Jody Hoare asking if he would be interested in returning to the Wessex, having previously played in it for Horndean and Petersfield.

‘I probably wouldn’t have applied for it,’ Grant conceded. ‘I was looking to take some time out, spend some family time.

‘But the kids are going back to school and the more I thought about it, the more it appealed. It was a challenge that I could get my teeth into.

‘It’s another project - they’ve got the new ground being built at Wickham - that’s what appealed the most.

‘I’ll be challenging myself. I had a good record at Paulsgrove, we were a top two side for my duration there.’

On his decision to leave Paulsgrove, where he had been in charge since the start of 2019/20, Grant said: ‘It was a really tough decision to be honest - my heart will always be at the Grove.

‘But it wasn’t just the 90 minutes on a Saturday - it was getting to the ground at 10am and not knowing what you’ll find (regarding possible vandalism).

‘I told Jody I wanted more family time, and Infinity have more of a structure in place - they have people to help out behind the scenes.

‘The volunteers at grassroots level are so, so important - and they are the ones that always go unnoticed. The people that wash the kit, the tea ladies - people that give up their time for free.’

Grant has brought in Lee Jones - a close friend of his with ‘a wealth of football knowledge’ - to help out at Infinity.

‘If Lee feels I’m getting stressed about something, he’ll give me a slap to get me back into shape!’ the boss quipped.

Grant takes over an Infinity side third from bottom of the Wessex Division 1. Having won their opening step 6 game 2-0 at East Cowes, they have lost their last four - scoring just three times and conceding 15. In their last three matches they have lost 3-0 at home to Millbrook and Verwood and 4-0 at Ash United.

Infinity travel to AFC Portchester tonight in the Hampshire Senior Cup (7.45pm). Grant will be there but will relying on the existing coaching staff.

‘I’m not that arrogant that I will turn up and say ‘do this, do that’,’ he remarked.

‘I know some of the players, but some I don’t know. It will probably take five to six weeks to get to know everyone.’

Asked if he will return to Paulsgrove in a bid to sign players for Infinity, Grant replied: ‘Who knows?

‘Certainly not to start with, as I want to give all the players currently at the club a chance, even the ones not playing - everyone’s got a different opinion.’

Grant’s first Wessex 1 game is at Whitchurch this Saturday with a trip to Baffins Milton Rovers next Tuesday in the Wessex League Cup.