Fantastic feat in first game at the helm: Move over Roy of the Rovers, it’s now Kyle of the Rovers after Kyle Tooze marked his first-ever game in management with a hat-trick to help his side, Paulton Rovers, win 4-3 at Westbury United on Saturday in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South.

It left us wondering whether anyone has ever previously achieved this feat; to our knowledge, even the legendary Roy Race himself didn’t even do this!

“I am still trying to find out if scoring a hat-trick on your debut as manager has ever been done before,” Tooze told us. “It’s a weird celebration as, of course, I am buzzing at scoring a hat-trick to win us the game and the three points, but then as manager, I’m disappointed in the poor goals we conceded, so it’s mixed emotions.

“The opportunity to manage in the Southern League doesn’t come along too often, so after discussions with the Board and the players recently, I decided to grab this chance.

“I believe that my staff and I can take this club forward. I have gained plenty of experience after 15 years as a non-League footballer playing under some successful managers and I feel that I can use snippets of this alongside knowing at first-hand how the modern game has changed for the younger players of today.

“Things are not going to happen overnight, but we’ll work hard each week on our game plan and preparation. I want us to have the bravery to play attractive football and give the players no excuses as to why they can’t win any game.

“My philosophy is simple; my players have to work harder than the other team, win their individual battles and, most importantly, be confident on the ball.

“It’s also important to have a good team spirit around this, knowing that the players will run through brick walls for their team-mates.

“Everyone is capable of beating each other this season, it’s a strange League and you can see how tight it is.

“Our short-term aim is to pull away from the bottom of the table. In the longer term we want to get this club challenging amongst the leading pack and get back into the Southern League Premier.

“It’s going to be hard work, but I’m ready for it!”

Saturday’s victory was Paulton’s third in 11 League games. Tooze will oversee his first home League game on November 18th with the visit of Bishops Cleeve.

Tony Walsh

Photo: Jon Green