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National League South side appoint ex-Crystal Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player as manager

National League South side Welling United have chosen to appoint an ex-Crystal Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player as their new manager.

Their new man is Steve Lovell, coming in to replace Brad Quinton following their 2-0 defeat to high flying St Albans which came on Tuesday night.

The club currently sit bottom of their division, 21st, and have only picked up eight points from 11 games played, though do have some games in hand over those above them and are only a point off safety.

Owner and club chairman Mark Goldberg says that he is delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Lovell as their new first team manager.

Lovell has made nearly 500 Football League appearances for Crystal Palace; Millwall and Gillingham, and Steve is certainly well known within the area of Kent for his impressive management of the Gills, managing them for a total of two seasons whilst in League One, including a memorable FA Cup Third Round win over then then-Premier League outfit Cardiff City.

Steve, born in Wales, starting his playing career in 1977 as an apprentice with Crystal Palace, playing at the time as a midfielder and went on to gain 74 Football League appearances in six years at Selhurst Park, during which he also had a loan spell at Stockport County.

In 1983, he then made the decision to sign for Millwall, where manager George Graham played him as a striker during an injury crisis. He impressed by scoring 13 goals within 11 matches and remained a striker for the remainder of his career.

Three years later, Lovell suffered an injury whilst playing for Wales and was unable to regain a place in the Millwall squad and, after a short loan spell with his hometown club Swansea City, was offloaded to Gillingham for a sum of £20,000.

He went on to spend five years with the Kent club, playing over 200 matches and scored nearly 100 goals, ending up as the club’s leading scorer in four consecutive seasons and equalled a club record by scoring in seven consecutive matches in 1990.

Lovell made appearances for Gillingham in the Division Three play-off run in 1988/87 season, however the Gills lost to then Second Division side Sunderland over two legs before losing to Swindon Town over two legs and a replay in the final.

After a short stint on loan with AFC Bournemouth in 1992, Lovell then dropped down the tiers in favour of non-league football, where he played for nine different clubs in nine years, including three spells at different times with Sittingbourne. The other sides were Braintree Town, St Albans City, Hastings, Gravesend & Northfleet, Weymouth, Tonbridge Angels, Deal Town and Ashford Town (Kent).

In 2000, he played for Deal Town when they defeated Chippenham Town 1–0 in the last FA Vase final at the old Wembley before the new stadium was built.

He then had a managerial career, between 1995 and to current day, he’s managed Sittingbourne, Gravesend & Northfleet, Hastings, Ashford Town (Kent), been co-caretaker and manager of Gillingham, and also was assistant manager at Bromley.

Here he is talking about winning the League One manager of the month award in January 2018, the only time he did so in fact…

He also guided Sittingbourne to Southern League Southern Division champions in his first spell as manager in 1995/96.

Joining Steve as the Assistant Manager and First Team Coach will be Tristan Lewis and will be quite well known to Welling fans after originally setting up their new academy. He was most recently the First Team Coach at Ebbsfleet United where after being appointed alongside Kevin Watson as manager with the club surviving the drop as the season was cut short due to the pandemic and the standings based on points-per-game (PPG).

The club added that Craig Lewis will also rejoin the club to assist with fitness and conditioning, and have given a big welcome to Steve as well as Tristan and Craig.

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

Fans reacted after seeing that the National League South side appoint an ex-Crystal Palace, Millwall, Gillingham player as their new manager at 11:30pm on Wednesday night…

@justjaymo: Mg clearly back running the club despite disappearing for 10months and having no interest…

@MartinHawkins54: Great news! One of my Millwall heroes!

@JoshuaCampopia3: That is a very good signing as a manager Steve Lovell has a lot of experience as a manager being at Ebbsfleet and Gillingham. Welcome to wings family same with Tristan and Craig Lewis

@LeeTaylor93: Not a bad hire from the wings, hopefully they can push forward for the second part of the season now.

@GeeGreenhead: Great appointment

@JoeWarner7: Manager of my college team 2008-2010 down at CAFC. Such a great guy, hopefully he can turn things around!

@NadamarL: Compare this appointment and the clowns that were just sacked and it’s no comparison at all, at last a management team with some meat and teeth

@afcsteve87: Hopefully start moving up the table soon!

@TalkBillericay: can we have a little clarity here??? Looks as if Tristan Lewis is now joining Welling?

@sampford88: Don’t think any is needed, he’s left. I’m sure an announcement will be made soon of the replacement.

@DWilliam81: What a wanker

@BenMapp02: isn’t Tristan Lewis our assistant coach?

@MattyScho1982: Change in fortunes, hopefully

@WIEfanzine: “Mark Goldberg is delighted to announce…” Clearly some internal politics going on at the club. Whatever’s going on we wish the new management team well.

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