‘It’s a great appointment – a privilege to be working with someone of his calibre’ – US Portsmouth welcome Fraser Quirke back as first team manager

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US Portsmouth secretary Bob Brady has hailed the return of Fraser Quirke as a ‘great appointment’ for the club.

The Wessex League Premier Division club moved swiftly to offer Quirke the role of first team boss after Tom Grice’s resignation.

Quirke attended a meeting last night along with Brady, assistant manager Tom Jeffes and Grice and accepted the job when offered it.

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He had already been in talks with US about taking up a role in Grice’s management team prior to the latter stepping down at the weekend.

Fraser Quirke has returned to US Portsmouth as first team managerFraser Quirke has returned to US Portsmouth as first team manager
Fraser Quirke has returned to US Portsmouth as first team manager

‘We approached him after the season had ended to be part of the team for next season,’ Brady told The News. ‘Fraser said it was probably a bit too soon after leaving Moneyfields.

‘We were still talking to him, and had an inkling he would like to come on board.

‘After Tom Grice had stepped down, we wanted to speak to Fraser quickly - we didn’t want anyone else to have him!

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‘It’s a great appointment for the club, and a privilege to be working with someone of his calibre again.

‘He knows the club well, he works for the Navy at Temeraire, he’s got good links with the Royal Navy FA.

‘We were looking for someone with those connections, and we have found them with Fraser.’

Quirke played alongside Brady for USP’s predecessors, Portsmouth Royal Navy, when he first joined the Navy in the 1990s.

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More recently, he was assistant manager to Glenn Turnbull at the Victory Stadium when USP reached the FA Vase semi-final last year.

He subsequently followed Turnbull to Moneyfields in a similar role, but left the club a few days after the 0-0 draw with Bashley in April - a game ironically played at USP’s Victory Stadium.

During that game, Quirke had been involved in a touchline row which saw goalkeeping coach Karl Watson sent off for violent conduct midway through the first half.

Brady confirmed Jeffes has ‘been asked to continue as captain, as assistant manager, as a player, as a general dogsbody - he did a lot of stuff behind the scenes, as did Tom Grice.

‘Tom Grice will also be involved in some capacity.’

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USP have still to appoint a coach - ideally UEFA B or C qualified - and a fitness coach ahead of their second season at step 5 level.

Brady admits the club need more coaching staff on matchdays to help share the workload.

‘We only had a core three last year (Grice, Jeffes and Steve Weston) and really you need four or five at our level,’ he outlined.

‘I’m sure there will be some players leaving and some staying, and hopefully Fraser can bring some in with him.’

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One of the players the new manager will inherit is his son Cameron, who was a regular first team squad player last season - including a last-minute equaliser against his dad’s Moneyfields team in February!