Catlin: Gosport job my biggest challenge so far

Mick Catlin is new Gosport Borough boss. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Mick Catlin is new Gosport Borough boss. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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New manager Mick Catlin takes charge of Gosport Borough for the first time against Hitchin Town in Southern League east division at Privett Park tomorrow (3pm).

And he believes the job is ‘the biggest challenge of his career’ so far.

The Privett Park favourite was announced as new boss by club chairman Iain Sellstrom yesterday, succeeding Alex Pike.

Catlin faces a hectic start to his reign – with Borough playing four games in 10 days.

The Privett Park outfit picked up their first point of the season at Kings Langley on Tuesday under caretaker manager Danny Thompson.

Catlin is hoping his side can build on that and achieve a first league win of the campaign against Hitchin

The new manager, however, is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the job at hand.

‘This has to be, without doubt, the biggest challenge of my career so far,’ said Catlin.

‘I know the club well after spending nine years here as assistant manager.

‘It’s only been eight months since I left the club and I am fully aware of the difficult situation the club finds itself in.

‘There have been some changes since then – some good and some not so good.

‘It won’t take long for me to get back into the mindset of what needs to be done.

‘We are still under a transfer embargo and the budget is limited, so things won’t happen instantly.

‘However, it is a club I care about and want to help resurrect.

‘The club is working hard off the pitch to try and sort things out.

‘My job is to keep things improving on the pitch.

‘The long-term aim is to get the club back to where it was when I left, but the first priority is staying in the Southern League premier division.’

Since leaving Borough, Catlin had a brief spell as caretaker manager at Winchester City.

He then took on a coaching role at Moneyfields.

Catlin is a well respected and well-liked figure in the local football community.

In his nine years at Borough, he was instrumental in their rise from Wessex League to National League 
South, and also led the team out at Wembley when they played Cambridge United in the FA Trophy final.

Caitlin admits he had little choice when he departed Privett Park in January.

He added: ‘I wasn’t happy with the way things were being run.

‘When I first joined the club, they had a five-year plan to reach National League South.

‘We achieved it in four, but the infrastructure didn’t move as quickly.

‘We should have cut our cloth accordingly but instead we attempted to keep up with some of the other clubs paying higher wages.

‘Borough’s resulting financial problems have been well documented.

‘Now we have a chairman who is a businessman and determined to return stability to the club.’