New Chichester City Ladies manager Aaron Smith says he cannot wait to get started as he looks to help the FA Women’s Premier League South club progress on and off the pitch.
The 38-year-old joined the Oaklands Park side in September, 2017, as Matt Wright’s assistant manager.
With the former manager stepping away from the day-to-day management to help the club stabilise in the third tier, Smith has been offered the chance to step up to the top job.
Despite the season ending just a few weeks ago, the new gaffer has his sights set on the new campaign – with pre-season schedules and assembling a new backroom staff top of his in-tray.
Smith said: “My first job will be to build and strengthen the squad, not just the first team, but also the development squad.
“We have worked hard to improve our training facilities for the new season and the contact time with coaches has also increased drastically.”
Smith joined Chi after previous spells working at Southampton Women and Portsmouth Ladies.
After joining as Chi assistant just nine months ago, he played a vital role in their maiden season in the third tier.
He helped the club to an eighth-placed finish in the league as well as a run to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Smith said: “Since joining Chichester, the first thing I realised was how amazing the volunteers are.
“We don’t have the finances of other clubs, but this doesn’t matter to our volunteers.
“They give hours of their own time, unpaid, in order to help this club reach our target of playing in the Women’s Super League.
“I have fallen in love with this club and its values.
“I hope that I can take Chi up to the next level while maintaining the community feel and the togetherness that is evident to see on matchdays.”
He added: “It’s still sinking in really. For me to be asked to take over the reins is a huge compliment and I want to thank everyone at the club for giving me this opportunity.
“To now have this opportunity means the world to me.”