New Petersfield Town co-manager Pat Suraci can’t wait to get started
PETERSFIELD TOWN’S new co-manager Pat Suraci has laid out his vision for the club.
Suraci and Joe Lea officially take over the reins at Love Lane on May 1, when current manager Mark Summerhill will move to a new role at the club as head of football.
Lea, 24, and Suraci, 23, will combine their new duties at Love Lane with their current roles at Gosport Borough – where they are the joint centre of excellence managers and co-manage the unders-23s and the under-18s, and run the club’s football college programme.
Suraci and Lea – who both have their UEFA B licence in football coaching – will also continue their roles as academy coaches at Championship outfit AFC Bournemouth.
Suraci said: “Joe and I are really excited to get started.
“We want to help Petersfield get back to where the club wants to be at the top end of the table.
“The main thing we will be working on before pre-season is recruitment, and getting players who suit our style.
“We’re bringing an analyst and a scout as we want things to be professional here. You don’t have to spend money to do that if you think creatively.
“Joe and I have watched Petersfield’s past four or five games and there are already some good players at the club.
“We want to play attacking, exciting, possession-based football. If you have the ball then the opposition can’t score.
“Out of possession we will be aggressive and press high up the pitch, as the further you can push the opposition towards their own goal the less of a threat they are.
“Joe and I know there are five or six players at Gosport who would suit our style, and there are other players at other clubs we are targeting. If we mix them with the Petersfield players we will have a good blend.
“The club finished 12th this season and we would like to be in the top half next season.
“If you’re in the top half you can push for the top eight and potentially higher, but we’re not getting carried away as we’re implementing a new style which will take time.
“Our teams at Gosport tend to excel towards the end of the season as we give the players a lot of information.
“Joe and I have played under a lot of different managers and have picked up things we liked and also things we didn’t like.
“People make a lot about experience – which is important – but we have our own ideas.
“I’ve played under experienced coaches and not learnt a lot and under inexperienced coaches and learnt a lot more.
“Mark offers us Wessex League experience as head of football, and we’ll all work together as a trio.”
Suraci started his footballing journey at Southampton’s academy, and had spells at Eastleigh and Aldershot Town before signing his first professional contract at Belgian second division outfit Lommel SK – who are now part of the City Football Group run by the current Premier League title holders Manchester City.
He also had stints at Weymouth, Bognor Regis Town and Gosport Borough.
“I learnt a lot in Belgium – the football is a lot more technical and tactical there,” said Suraci. “I also got to experience a new culture. In England football is more aggressive.
“Joe and I both came through the academy at Southampton and Ben White was at the academy at the same time as us.”
Suraci says Petersfield supporters have plenty to look forward to at the club.
“My message to the Petersfield fans is they should be very excited about the football we will be playing next season – and hopefully they can continue to come out and support us in good numbers,” he said.
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