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Ex-Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player quits as Welling boss; fans rage at club owner

Ex-Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player Steve Lovell quits as Welling boss with fans choosing to rage at their club owner.

The decision comes following the weekend’s exit from the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round, with Welling United said to be disappointed to announce that they have accepted the resignations of both Lovell and Tristan Lewis.

The club place on record its thanks to both Steve and Tristan for all of their efforts since arriving shortly before the end of the curtailed 2020-21 season and wish them both the very best for the future.

The 61-year-old said he is looking for a new challenge after initially looking to have been turning the club’s league form around, after a torrid start in National League South, but the Wings suffered a setback with an FA Cup defeat against Harrow Borough.

Former Gillingham manager Lovell was confident that the club wouldn’t be embroiled in a relegation battle but it’s not the challenge he wants.

“I am keen to get back into it,” said Lovell, having made his decision to quit.

“You want to be at a club with ambition to go further, a club that I can take forward and work with but I must say Mark (Goldberg, the Welling chairman) has been great for me and he gave me the opportunity. We are good friends and still will be, that is one of the reasons I did it now, to give the club an opportunity to get someone else in and work with that group.

“Perhaps it is not right for me. They could have been, we would have been fine, there was no doubt we wouldn’t be relegated, the boys were great, but for me, it is a personal thing, me wanting to achieve something that perhaps we thought we couldn’t achieve at Welling.

“I would rather nip it in the bud and say ‘look, me and Tristan (Lewis, assistant manager) have given it a go, it is not for us.’ Someone else can now come in, take over and take them forward. It was something that just wasn’t right and you only know that when you go into a club.

“We got a squad together that we thought would be good enough and they might be good enough but I think, from a personal point of view, I could see it wasn’t going to work.”

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Lovell added: “We felt after the first three games, when we didn’t have a squad at all, we were missing defenders and we had three bad results and then we picked it up, we beat Concord, we drew with Slough, but it was something that was not sitting right with me. I don’t want to do something for the sake of it.

“The players that we have got are decent players. Desire is something I have always had and shown and perhaps we didn’t get that from the group of players we inherited or got in, perhaps someone else can get that out of this group, I don’t know.

“From a personal point of view, it was a desire to achieve something better than just wanting to stay in the league and not being able to have the resources to do it.”

Fans reacted as the ex-Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player quits as Welling boss…

@walshie_mark: Definite relegation now as Goldberg will think he can step in as manager again. When will he ever learn that he is useless. Welling used to be such a great club but Goldberg has sent them into a downward spiral. #RIPWelling

@PaulBowenMMA: Football is better without Goldberg

@TrevorWAllman: If I recall correctly, the new investors at Bromley F.C. only agreed to pump money into the club if Mr Goldberg was no longer involved, which led to his departure. I think that says it all. What has happened at Welling United was virtually inevitable from the outset.

@RadioWelling: I just want to wish Steve and Tristan all the best for the future and to thank them for always being kind and approachable for interviews even after a defeat.

@grahamkeen: Doesn’t matter who takes up the reins, Goldberg will always run the team whilst he still owns the club

@valleyman1973: #Goldbergout

@Smudge1979: I’m afraid like my beloved Spurs, until the ownership changes, it’s rinse & repeat..

@MrMac1985: Bring back Jamie Day!

@cfcblue1905: Goldberg to follow soon I hope

@TommyWalklin1: #GoldbergOut the future has never looked so bleak for this club. One man has ruined a club and sent it into utter turmoil. Too late to make amends with the fans, Leave Goldberg. Your time is up…

@Harry92430858: #theReturnOfGoldberg

@JoshuaCampopia3: Tell me about it, but with them 2 gone will Goldberg sit back and will Fiore come back and take control with Matt and Paul?

@rexhem17: Sammy Moore the man for that job. Did well at Hemel and didn’t get a proper chance to see it through.

@highwaystar333: Goldberg hopefully go next.

@TonyWarren34: Can’t say I’m surprised but need to sort the root cause ££ & MG until then don’t see anyone being able to do anything or turn anything around. Can’t see club legend @day_jamieday13 being interested even if he is a free agent

@WIEfanzine: “disappointed” 👀

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