By Ken Gaunt
Former player Neville Roach had no hesitation in returning to Basingstoke as manager of the Under 21 team. “I love this club,” he said. “It is a family-run club with good people working hard behind the scenes.”
The ex-Reading striker made 141 appearances during two spells at the club, first in 2002 and then in 2006. He played alongside current captain David Ray and First Team coach Jason Bristow.
I had a good chat with Terry and it was a very easy decision to come here. I like the structure of the club and the pathway laid out for the young players.
Neville, 38, has settled in nicely in familiar surroundings in his part-time role, with his first two games against lower league Bashley and Tadley Calleva ending in emphatic victories.
He has nothing but praise for the work being carried out by manager Terry Brown, assistant first team coach Kevin Braybrook and Jason Bristow since they turned full-time in the summer.
Neville, whose last club was Badshot Lea, said: “I had a good chat with Terry and it was a very easy decision to come here. I like the structure of the club and the pathway laid out for the young players.
“It is important to have an Under-21 team, so you can bridge that gap between the Academy and the first team. On the field the club is in a much stronger place than when I was playing for them.”
Nevlle’s young charges defeated Tadley Calleva 4-1 last night but he is more interested in performances than results. “It is all about educating the players and getting them developing good habits, ” he added.
“I am still finding my feet but the signs are promising. We train on Monday and play midweek, so hopefully the youngsters can push on.”