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Christchurch FC announce former player Ben Hatch as new manager

CHRISTCHURCH Football Club has announced that former player Ben Hatch will take the club's reins as the new manager.

Assistant manager Barney Gritt will join Hatch at the Hurn Bridge Sports Club with coach James Rowe and goalkeeping coach Ryan Thorpe filling the other roles.

Hatch comes into the club after former co-managers Ollie Cherrett and Wayne Smith resigned when the club decided against applying for promotion to the Southern League.

New Christchurch manager Ben Hatch after Loch & Quay's double in 2019
New Christchurch manager Ben Hatch after Loch & Quay's double in 2019

The FA invited Christchurch to apply for promotion as the Sydenhams Wessex Premier side with the highest points-per-game ratio over the previous two years.

Hatch said: "Christchurch approached me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to put my CV in for the job. After that, we had a few discussions about my vision for the team, and they offered the job.

"I believe the facilities at the club are the best in Dorset, and the club sold itself to me. Especially after playing for the club when I was 18 years old. I know the set-up well and a lot of the backroom people and chairman.

"I've always been an attacking manager who looks to play football. Different games can have different approaches, but we'll be looking to win the league."

Former Christchurch player Hatch, who also played for Poole Town, Wimborne, Ringwood Town and Downton, has already started preparations for the upcoming season. The club recently announced the signings of right-back Pepe Smith, centre half Harvey Elsom, centre midfielder Matt Steer, left-winger Sam Chilman, centre midfielder Ethan Maddocks, and left-back Mac Raney.

Thirty-year-old Hatch added: "I'm excited to see what the new boys can do at the club. They have all played Wessex football before and have worked with me at various clubs. I truly believe they all have the potential to play at a higher level.

"Although this is my first managerial job in the Wessex Football League, I served as assistant to Adie Arnold at Verwood Town, and I ran a very successful Sunday league team.

"We started Loch & Quay FC four years ago, and we quickly won the Bournemouth Hayward Sunday League division four title. We then went onto won the division two title before twice winning the top division. There was also a Hampshire FA John Ward Sunday Senior Cup win in 2019."

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