AFC Portchester boss Mick Catlin is pleased to be continuing in the managerial hot seat at the Crest Finance Stadium for the season ahead.

Chairman Paul Kelly confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that Catlin will once again be leading the Royals into the 2020-21 campaign.

Catlin has been with the club since January 2018 when he agreed to take up a joint manager role for the first team with Ian Saunders. He took on the role fully on his own from November that year after Saunders left the club. 

The Royals’ boss has revealed it took a plan formulated by himself and the chairman - which took the first team through a tough period - to get them closer to achieving the club’s ambition of gaining promotion to the Southern League.

Catlin said: “I am pleased to agree a new deal to continue as AFC Portchester manager next season and build on what we started last season. 

“When I started back in November 2018 after the departure of Ian Saunders, I sat down with Paul and we set out a plan to move the club forward. 

“The first part of the plan we both knew would actually take the club backwards but by cutting things back and blooding some younger players for the remainder of the season, it would benefit the club for the following season.

“It was a tough period and we took some beatings but I think you learn most about people in times of difficulty. 

“The young players needed to grow up fast and they acquired some valuable experience. 

“My relationship with the chairman certainly had some testing moments when we both questioned if we were doing the right thing. 

“Going into the season just gone, expectations were rightfully high and after a sticky start I certainly needed the chairman to stand strong and back me when the noise from outside was starting to get louder. 

“He certainly did that and we really started to find some form from Christmas onwards and play the type of football we knew we were capable of. 

“Unfortunately we never got to finish what we had started.”

After coming through that tough period during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign, coupled with the progress made last season, the Royals’ boss believes his team are now in a position to move forward towards achieving the club’s ambitions of promotion.

Catlin added: “Loyalty is not a word associated with football anymore so I am pleased that the squad have been loyal and committed to the club (for next season).

“I will be working my hardest to produce a side to deliver promotion for the club - whenever this coming season starts.”


AFC Portchester
The Crest Finance Stadium
Wicor Recreation Ground
Cranleigh Road
PO16 9DP

+44 (0) 1329 233833