New Moneyfields boss Glenn Turnbull: ‘I never applied for the job – I wasn’t surprised to be approached, but I was flattered’
Glenn Turnbull has revealed he didn’t apply for the Moneyfields managerial role he has been given - and doesn’t expect to start the job for another 10 weeks.
The US Portsmouth boss has been announced as Dave Carter’s replacement at Dover Road - becoming only the third Moneyfields manager since 2003.
But he will only take up the new challenge once USP’s record-breaking 2020/21 season is officially over.
US host Christchurch in the fourth round of the FA Vase on April 17, and are also through to the semi-finals of the Wessex League Cup.
Turnbull has been told the last four tie with Bemerton Heath Harlequins could be played on Saturday, May 22 - also the date of the FA Vase final! - with the final taking place the following Saturday.
‘I don’t expect to have anything to do with Moneyfields until the end of May,’ he admitted.
‘Until then, I’m focussing on the job in hand - trying to go as deep into the FA Vase as we can and the Wessex League Cup.
‘That’s my focus - 110 per cent.’
Turnbull told The News last month that he wouldn’t be applying for the Moneys role that became vacant when Carter quit to join AFC Portchester.
He was true to his word, saying: ‘I said I wouldn’t apply and I didn’t.
‘Moneyfields contacted Bob (Brady, US secretary) asking for permission to talk to me.
‘Was I surprised that they asked? Truthfully, not really, but I was still flattered.
‘Lots of people have said to me over the last year ‘I’m surprised so and so haven’t come in for you’.’
Turnbull will be taking four members of his US backroom staff to Dover Road with him - assistant boss Fraser Quirke, head coach Paul Barton, reserve team boss Lee Mould and physio Steffan Steffan.
‘It was non-negotiable that we all came together,’ said Turnbull.
‘Paul Barton is a UEFA A coach who has worked at Pompey - he did his course with the likes of Roy Keane and Ole Solskjaer.
‘Fraser is a UEFA B coach who played professionally in Hong Kong.
‘Add what I can bring into the mix and I think there’s a lot of balance - skills that are transferable to different levels.
‘We always say at US that no-one is bigger than the team, and we’ve always said we want to run it as professionally as we can.
‘That’s why we brought in Paul to give some really high quality training sessions, and why we brought in Steffan last year.’
Turnbull is no stranger to Moneyfields. Along with chairman Pete Seiden - a good friend of his - he ran the youth team at Dover Road for two seasons before running the reserves with Lee Smith for a similar amount of time.
Among his current US squad, Liam Kyle, Callum Glen, Dec Seiden and Elliott Turnbull - the manager’s son - all played for his Moneyfields youth team.
Quirke and Mould, meanwhile, are ex-Moneyfields first teamers.
‘I won’t be walking into a dressing room there not knowing anyone,’ said Turnbull.
‘Connor Bailey, Hutch (Steve Hutchings), Curt Da Costa and Tyler Giddings were all there when I was there before.
‘There’s other players like Ryan Pennery and Connor Hoare who I also know.’
Turnbull will wait to see which players follow Carter to AFC Portchester before starting his own squad rebuilding.
But he plans to take a handful of his US squad with him, believing they can make the step up in standard.
‘Some of the players I have deserve to be playing at a higher level,’ said Turnbull.
‘Bognor were keen on (defender) Tom Cain last year, they must think he’s capable of playing at that level.
‘Tom Price (the goalkeeper) has played at that level for Gosport.’
Dec Seiden – the Moneyfields chairman’s son – was also registered by Isthmian Leaguers Chichester City earlier this season, appearing in some FA Cup ties.
It would be a major surprise if Turnbull didn’t look to take playmaker James Franklyn - top scorer this season with 15 goals in 16 appearances and one of the outstanding performers at step 6 in the last 18 months - with him to Moneys.
He is also keen to improve the pathway between the youth teams and the first team in his new challenge.
Moneyfields’ reserve team have been dominant in Division 1 of the Hampshire League since the start of 2019/20.
But like USP, they are now waiting to see if they will be rewarded with the promotion they deserve in any summer FA restructuring of the pyramid.
‘The links between the first team, reserves and youths are very important to us,’ said Turnbull, ‘and seemingly they are important to Moneyfields as well. That’s something we will buy into.’
After being told last Thursday that he had got the job, Turnbull held a group Zoom meeting on Saturday to inform his squad.
‘You know what Portsmouth is like,’ he said. ‘I think half of them were expecting it - they were saying ‘when are we going to Moneyfields!’’
‘I also spoke to two-thirds of the squad individually on Saturday - I had to charge my phone three times during the day. Tonight I’ll try and speak to the other third on the phone.
‘Bob (Brady) was gutted, and it’s rankled with me a bit - I feel I’ve let him down.
‘But myself, Fraser and Bob had talked about it after our interview - they saw it as a massive opportunity for them to develop their coaching at a higher level.
‘We’d decided it would be the right move for us all if Moneyfields were to offer it to us.
‘I thought they’d scale it down to the last two and have a second interview, but they offered it to us straightaway.’
After leaving Moneys midway through the 2016/17 season, Turnbull had a spell out of football before returning as USP reserve boss for the 2018/19 campaign alongside Mould and Tom Grice.
Turnbull was promoted to first team boss ahead of the 2019/20 season, bringing in Barton and Quirke - both former US players when they were called Portsmouth Royal Navy - to assist him.
He had known Quirke since they both helped out with Meon Milton’s youth teams when their sons - Cameron Quirke is also currently in the USP first team squad - were beginning their careers
In Turnbull’s debut season as a Wessex League boss, US were romping to promotion from Division 1 of the Wessex League - for the first time in the club’s history - when the pandemic struck.
With the top four clubs due to win promotion, US were 11 points clear of the fifth-placed team with only eight games left. The FA’s controversial decision to null and void the season was a hammer blow to US and a decision that still infuriates Turnbull.
This season, US were fourth - third on points-per-game - when the season was curtailed last month, having not played a league game since mid-December. They must now wait to see if they benefit from any summer restructuring the FA decide to implement.
In addition, US have reached the last 32 of the Vase for the first time in the club’s history - beating three higher division clubs (AFC Portchester, Bournemouth Poppies and Brockenhurst) and Millbrook en route to hosting Christchurch next month. Prior to this season, US had only won six Vase ties in 16 years.
US have also defeated two higher division clubs (Tadley and Brockenhurst) in reaching the last four of the Wessex League Cup for the first time in the club’s history.