US Portsmouth unveil new management trio

Tom Jeffes, the man who skippered US Portsmouth to the FA Vase semi-finals, is part of the club’s new-look management team.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 12:20 pm
Tom Jeffes
Tom Jeffes

The influential defender has been appointed assistant player manager with USP stalwart Tom Grice taking on the first team manager’s duties for the club’s first-ever Wessex League Premier Division campaign in 2021/22.

Henry Millington - who used to play and manage USP’s predecessors, Portsmouth Royal Navy, in the 70s and 80s - has also returned to the club as director of football.

Grice, Jeffes and Millington replace Glenn Turnbull (boss), Frazer Quirke (assistant) and Paul Barton (coach) who have all decamped to Moneyfields.

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Robbie John, who has been involved with the USP under-18s this season, will replace Lee Mould - who has also moved to Moneyfields - as reserve team manager.

USP secretary Bob Brady said he always wanted to appoint a new managerial team internally if at all possible.

‘Because of our Navy connections we are a unique club and Tom Grice, Tom Jeffes and Henry all understand that.

‘Tom Grice has been an integral part of the club for a long time, and Henry was my manager when I played for the Navy team.

‘He is a former Portsmouth RN player and manager from the time when it was all Navy, there was no civilian element at all.

‘Henry approached me saying he would like to get involved again, it came as a nice surprise.

‘He’s an experienced FA tutor, he was head of football development at the Sussex FA.

‘It’s nice that people from our past will be involved in taking the club forward.’

Jeffes, meanwhile, ‘was an important member of Glenn’s squad as club captain.

‘He knows the club, he understands it, and he knows the players.

‘Myself and Rich (Stephenson, chairman) had already talked about the possibility of Tom Grice and Tom Jeffes doing the job.

‘But before we could actually ask them, they’d approached me and offered their services!

‘Tom Jeffes wants to carry on playing. If he had wanted to stop playing, he could have been the manager. But as he wants to carry on playing, he said it’s only fair he should be the assistant rather than the one in charge.’

Brady added: ‘Everything is looking rosy now.

‘Robbie John is another one, he knows the club, he knows the local scene.

‘He’s been with the under-18s who we are hoping to integrate into our first team and reserves next season.

‘There’s a few positions we still need to fill - we need a physio and some coaches to help Henry out.

‘We’ve had a lot of applications from people wanting to be involved.’