Ebbsfleet United unveiled former Gillingham boss Steve Lovell as their first-ever director of football before drawing 1-1 with Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League on New Year’s Day.
Lovell, pictured, was in the stands at Stonebridge Road watching Kevin Watson’s side being pegged back by Will Wright’s free-kick for the Daggers five minutes from time following news of his lunchtime appointment.
A player-manager at the club from 1996-97 with a 20 year playing career behind him, the 59-year-old former Welsh international was “relieved of his duties” by the League One Gills in April after two years at the helm.
BREAKING NEWS FOR NEW YEAR’S DAY
Welcome to Steve Lovell who has joined the club as director of football and to aid player recruitment. Kevin Watson’s role in charge of the first-team stays as is. https://t.co/A1SP4N9dcH #eufc pic.twitter.com/b7H2NF4MN6
— Ebbsfleet United FC (@EUFCofficial) January 1, 2020
Ebbsfleet United CEO Dave Archer told fans in a club statement that Lovell’s responsibilities would include player recruitment and helping Watson identify key targets as the Fleet fight to stay in Non-League’s top flight.
Archer said: “Steve Lovell has many years of experience in both the EFL and Non-League, and his role in overseeing our player recruitment strategy is intended to complement Kevin’s excellent efforts on the pitch since his appointment.
“Steve has a wide knowledge of the game and the ins and outs behind-the-scenes; his expertise will give Kevin and the club the best chance of staying in the division, progressing beyond the end of this season, and to take Ebbsfleet United to the position we want to be in the years ahead.
“All of us at the Fleet welcome Steve to the staff and wish him the very best of luck in this new role.”
Watson has been on a mission to avoid the National League drop since his appointment as the successor to Garry Hill in November.
Watson – who’d been in temporary charge since the sacking of Hill in October – got the job on a permanent basis after lifting them off the foot of the table and guiding Fleet into the first round proper of the FA Cup as caretaker.
Image courtesy of @EUFCofficial/Twitter