Mick Catlin makes return to football with Horndean role after missing out on Moneyfields manager's job

Mick Catlin has made a return to football - but in a role he's never previously held in his career.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:16 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:31 pm
Mick Catlin has been appointed Horndean general manager. Picture Ian Hargreaves (160984-7)

The vastly experienced former AFC Portchester and Gosport Borough boss has taken up the position of general manager at Wessex League Premier Division side Horndean.

Catlin, who has been without a club since his Royals dismissal in October, will oversee developments off the pitch at Five Heads Park while offering a link between manager Michael Birmingham and the boardroom.

Whilst providing an added presence on match-days and representing the club, he will have no coaching involvement unless requested.

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The 56-year-old had been in the running for the Moneyfields job, although missed out after being interviewed for the position.

But after a prolonged managing and coaching career, Catlin feels he might be now better suited to a less stressful role within the game.

And the chance to help the club where he began his senior playing career push forward off the pitch and lending a helping hand to Deans boss Birmingham wherever possible appealed to him.

Catlin said: ‘I made no bones about it that I went for the Moneyfields job but didn’t get that.

‘I’d already spoken to Horndean before that, Mike (Birmingham) put the proposal to me, I agreed in principle but as there was no football I said to leave it for the time-being.

‘Initially, it’s to help the football club really because it’s going to be a difficult time coming back after Covid.

‘They’ve got a lot of ground improvements and stuff that needs doing that I’ll be involved in. Also, it’s to support Michael in the first team with recruitment and just basically a link between him and the board, really.

‘I won’t be in the dugout or coaching or anything like that, it’ll be a general manager’s role around the club and offering advice really from the clubs I’ve been at.

‘The club wants to progress when the time is right and you have to have certain things in place to be able to do that.

‘The infrastructure has got to be right, it’s alright having a good team and winning the league, but if you can’t move to the next level you don’t really gain any momentum.

'I've got a lot of friends at the club and the club means a lot to me. It’ll be nice to put something back and it feels like going back home, really.’

Birmingham admitted he'd been pushing to bring Catlin to the club since he left AFC Portchester.

The Horndean boss said he'll be taking the opportunity to ‘pick the brains' of such a renowned name within local football for on the field matters.

And Birmingham can't wait for him to get started as general manager at the Deans.

‘He’ll be the go between from myself and the committee and board members,’ said the Horndean boss.

‘With his knowledge and everything it’s a great acquisition at Horndean. I think he’ll be great and I can’t wait.

‘We’ll always pick his brains, don’t get me wrong, for what he’s achieved in the game and he’s a well respected person.

‘When he parted ways with AFC Portchester I was on the phone to him trying to get it sorted and I’m very happy to say he’ll be coming over.

‘We’ve always got on well with Cats and Cats has got some good, good friends at Horndean Football Club.’