Jenkins excited about Westleigh Park return

Mick Jenkins. Picture: Dave Haines
Mick Jenkins. Picture: Dave Haines
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Mick Jenkins is relishing a return to Westleigh Park with his AFC Portchester side in the semi-final of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

Jenkins’ long association with Havant and Waterlooville saw him play for both sides.

He was assistant manager to Dick Semark at Havant Town in 1997 from Fareham.

And after the two clubs amalgamated to form the Hawks, Jenkins worked as assistant to Billy Gilbert before becoming joint-manager with Liam Daish.

Under their guidance the team avoided relegation and went on to have notable successes in the FA Cup as well as reaching the semi-final of the FA Trophy.

But after a poor run of results, Jenkins and Daish were sacked in January 2004.

Jenkins was recently back at the club as a director – working at attracting increased hospitality.

But 18 months ago he left to join AFC Portchester where he was appointed director of football.

‘It will be nice to go back and see some familiar faces,’ said Jenkins.

‘I had some good years at the club, particularly as manager with Liam Daish.

‘We had some fantastic players with the likes of James Taylor, Timmy Hambley, Paul Wood, Bobby Howe and many others.

‘Winning the Southern League south division and reaching the semi-finals of the FA Trophy were great experiences.’

Now Jenkins is plotting his old club’s downfall with AFC Portchester manager Graham Rix and coach Louis Bell.

The Wessex League premier division side will start as underdogs but believe they can upset the odds.

Rix is shrewd and has plenty of experience in management, while the likes of Jamie Musselwhite, Nathan Lynch and Jake Thomson make his side a real threat to their Skrill South hosts.

‘It is a great opportunity for our players to play on a bigger stage,’ said Jenkins.

‘For our younger players it should prove an invaluable experience.

‘We have nothing to fear and will aim to go out express ourselves.’

The Wessex League premier division fixtures, along with Bognor’s Ryman premier clash, were washed out on Saturday.