Smith | New manager targeting promotion as he takes the helm

New manager Aaron Smith is happy to be back at Southampton Women FC a club that he "loves".

The former Chichester City Ladies manager joins after stepping down from his role with the Lilywhites where he took the club to their best ever league finish and won the Sussex County Cup.

Smith has previously worked with So'ton having led the Reserves side to the Hampshire County Women's Division One title in 2016/17 and going unbeaten for the whole league campaign.

Having spent just over two years in the National League Premier Division Smith joins So'ton with the ambition of gaining promotion to that same level with the club who gave him his first start.

He reflected: “It’s amazing to be back, I love this club.

“This club gave me my chance at management when Fran (Alonso) was here.

“He gave me my first job when others wouldn’t believe in me, but he did, and the club believed in me which I responded to by winning the league as the Reserve Manager.

“So, for me to come back to the club is great.

“Chichester is a great club, lovely people there but where their ambition now is not the same as mine.

“I want to be in the Championship, in the Super League now. Like as soon as we can."

With his background Smith truly believes that he and So'ton are a match made in heaven and knows the keys tasks that await him.

He said: “Southampton do things the right way and that was evident when I was there before; they treat their players right, the staff and other teams.

“That’s massive for me as I believe in doing things the right way and it seems like a great fit for me at this club.

“I’m here trying to fill the boots of Fran and Simon (Parker), they’re big boots to fill both great managers and coaches.

“My tasks now are to continue the great work that they’ve put forward.

“My target this year is to get promotion and they’ve been so close to that in the last few years, but they keep falling at the last hurdle, so we need to put together a plan so that doesn’t happen again.

So far the new manager hasn't given out too many details on his plans to make promotion happen but praised the club who has missed out on going up in the last two seasons.

“Everyone knows that Southampton Women are a great club, play good football so I’ll bring in my philosophy, the coaches will come in with theirs," he said.

“We might bring in some players, we might lose some or we might keep the same players I don’t know.

“We’ve got trials coming up and we’re just going to look at selecting the team that is good enough to win this league and take us up to Tier 3.”

“Everywhere I’ve been it’s been the same approach as I want professionalism, I have high expectations of players and staff.

“I like to make sure that off the field things are done as best as they can be.

“I think that we can expect that we will keep the basics of who Southampton WFC are and we’ll just add my little slant to it.

“They finished second again last year, they don’t need a massive change it’s just a few little tweaks here and there.

“Then hopefully by the end of the season it will have all come to fruition."

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