CONCORD Rangers new under-18s manager Gary Ogilvie said taking over the reins of the youth team was a “no brainer”.
Ogilvie joined the Beachboys coaching staff at the end of last season and he is now preparing to launch his coaching career with the successful youth team.
The 25-year-old takes over from Martin Shave, who has watched the group develop from their early days with the club’s younger sides.
He has a lot to live up to as Shave led the team to an Alliance League win last season and was 90 minutes away from triumphing in the regional play-off final.
But Ogilvie said when boss Danny Cowley spoke to him about the role, he was only ever going to give one answer.
“Danny offered me the job near the end of last season on the coach to an away trip, we had a short discussion and I accepted there and then. It was an exciting opportunity for me and a no brainer.”
Concord will be expanding their appeal next summer, with the launch of an innovative new academy for 16-19 year olds, as opposed to only offering opportunities to the age of 18, as Southend United, Colchester United and West Ham United do.
Danny Cowley said he believed it would give the club a “unique selling point” and Ogilvie said that he wants to bring players through to the first-team.
“The new academy will be extremely important to the future of concord,” continued Ogilvie. “Having players from 16-19 gives us the opportunity of producing our type of player. Hopefully in the future we won't have to loan in players from other academies, we can use our own.
“The short-term goal is to bring together a squad capable of winning the league and going on a good youth cup run. The long-term goal is to produce players good enough to make the first team squad week in week out.
“It's a special culture at Concord and I want my players to buy into that. You have to be a winner to be a Concord player, so that means if I’m going to be successful at bringing players through the youth team, then we are going to win things.”
Ogilvie will be working towards his UEFA B licence over the coming months, and has been playing in America and Canada this summer, and he says he has learnt a lot from his respective coaches.
“I coached at South Essex college last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having played at a good level in America and Canada, I’ve played under some great coaches with different styles.
“I also have experience gained from Danny, who I regard as one of the best managers in non-league, and he has had a big influence on me. My assistant Ben Stokes (younger brother of first-team captain Tony) is working towards his UEFA B licence too and will be a great asset for us, as we will be able to bounce ideas off of each other.
“I’ve been out in Michigan since May, playing in the PDL (Premier Development League). It’s a semi-professional summer league that I’ve played in before with around 70 teams that compete all over Canada and the USA. It works a little differently to back in England, but we just won our conference, and will be playing in the play-offs next weekend before I come home to join Concord’s last week of pre-season.”
First-team star Ogilvie will split his managing duty with his playing responsibilities and he is confident the Beachboys have the ability to challenge for the play-offs this time around, having surprised a lot of people last season.
“I think we have a realistic chance of making the playoffs, we have kept nearly all of our squad from last year so we have a year experience together at this level. We only just missed out last year so there is no reason why we can't, with Danny in charge there is no way we won't keep improving.”