I don't want Tiverton job full-time – Hill
TIVERTON Town's stand-in player-manager Kevin Hill has told the club's chairman Matthew Conridge he does not want the position on a long-term basis.
Hill stepped into the breach following the departure of Mark Saunders and Hedley Steele last week after the 2-1 home defeat to North Leigh, although he is yet to manage a game after Tivvy's trip to Winchester City on Saturday was postponed.
And while the veteran midfielder says he is happy to help the club on a short-term basis, he does not want to take over permanently in case it jeopardises his playing career.
"The chairman asked me if I would step in for a little bit until they find a new manager and I said 'yes'," said the 37-year-old. "But I have made it quite clear to the chairman that I only want to do it for a couple of games and no longer than that because I still want to play.
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"It is all about the club getting the team out on a Saturday and I think with me being among the most experienced in the dressing room that's why I was asked. I'll do it as professionally as I can and just go from there."
Hill – who is Torquay United's record appearance holder with 474 games for the Gulls – has become a regular fixture in the Tivvy engine room since joining in 2010.
His versatility has also seen him turn out at centre-back and, while switching to management does not interest him at the moment, he admitted he could be interested in taking up the reins at some point in the future.
"Don't get me wrong – one day I would love to manage a team like Tiverton Town and maybe in a couple of seasons I will throw my hat into the ring," he said.
"But I want to carry on for another couple of seasons until my legs tell me it is time to stop.
"I don't believe in being a player-manager. I think there's a danger you don't play yourself just to keep other players happy. Also, how could I keep myself in the team if I had a bad game?"
Hill also spoke of his surprise at the departure of Saunders and Steele, with the pair having taken over shortly after his arrival in late 2010.
Despite a superb start to the season which saw them top the league table at the end of November, the Yellows have now gone 18 games without a win in all competitions, meaning their play-off hopes have all but evaporated.
But Hill said he was not expecting the departures despite their poor form.
"I was surprised to hear the news," he said. "I don't know what's gone on behind the scenes but it was a shame to hear.
"Obviously the players don't know because we are not involved in the running of the club but we were all a bit surprised.
"The players have a lot of respect for Mark and Hedley so it was a shame to see them go, even if we haven't won in our last 18.
"To be honest I still find it surprising that we are still where we are in the table having not won in so long. But that just shows what a great job Mark and Hedley were doing on a very small budget at the club."
Hill also revealed he would have no qualms in selecting former Plymouth Argyle midfielder Saunders as Tivvy look for an elusive win.
Saunders claims he would happily play for Tivvy should his services be required, and Hill said he would explore the possibility – provided it was cleared by the club's hierarchy.
"I said to Mark that he is still signed on as a player so there's no reason he can't play," said Hill, who will select the team for the Southern League match tonight (Tuesday) at home to Paulton Rovers.
"Obviously I'll have to run it by the chairman because I don't know how they have left it, but I'm happy for him to play for Tivvy.
"I said to him when he was manager that maybe we could have done with him playing out there because perhaps we could have done with his experience out there on the field during our bad run.
"He said he had left it too long between playing and I know exactly what he means, but maybe we could have done with hearing his voice actually out there on the pitch."
Tiverton Town are offering tickets at a reduced rate of £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and free entry for under-16s for the Southern League Division One South & West game at home to Paulton Rovers.