Hectic time ahead for AFC Portchester’s interim manager Marty Wallace
Marty Wallace always had a busy week of football in front of him.
Now, after Mick Catlin and Lee Molyneaux were sacked by AFC Portchester, he has an even more hectic schedule.
The Royal Navy men’s manager has been placed in interim charge of the Royals by chairman Paul Kelly, with no timescale on how long he could be holding the reigns.
His first game in charge will be home to Blackfield on Saturday followed by a trip to Bournemouth Poppies next Tuesday and another home match with Bashley on November 7.
In between, he will take charge of the Navy for their two inter-services games next week - against the RAF in Portsmouth on Monday and the Army at Aldershot on Thursday.
Explaining his Portchester role, Wallace said: ‘The key brief is to provide continuity and stability for the players.
‘There’s always uncertainty when a manager leaves - whether it’s among the players, the backroom staff, the under-23s.’
Wallace is certainly a familiar face - he has been involved at Portchester since Graham Rix and Steve Johnson brought him to the club in 2015 to head up the youth development.
A UEFA B licenced coach, he was worked with the first team since Ian Saunders and Catlin were joint managers in 2017/18.
Wallace - who said he was ‘honoured’ to have been asked by Kelly to ‘steady the ship’ - will be aided by first team coach Jay Hampson and under-23s boss Mark Dugan.
Portchester have lost their last four league and cup games – culminating in a 2-1 home loss to Brockenhurst last Saturday that resulted in Catlin’s exit - and Wallace said: ‘The players are a little bit low on confidence.
‘We will be looking for a reaction and a performance from the players, and three points are absolutely vital.’
Wallace said he was ‘extremely surprised’ to learn that Catlin and Molyneaux had been dismissed just eight league games into 2020/21.
‘I know they were trying to turn things around, but that’s the nature of football,’ he remarked.
‘I was surprised at the speed at which it all happened.’
Strikers Craig Harding (knee) and Alex Baldacchino (calf) are sidelined for Blackfield’s visit.