NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: New Ely City manager Luke McAvoy aims to turn club fortunes around at higher level

Ely City in action earlier in the season. Picture: IAN CARTER

Ely City in action earlier in the season. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Ely City manager Luke McAvoy is confident he can turn his new side’s fortunes around, despite knowing the scale of the task ahead.

McAvoy along with former Cambridge City coach Ben Farmer replaced the long-serving Brady Stone and Martin Grey last month, to take charge of a team sitting second from bottom in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

The duo left Kershaw Premier outfit Cambridge University Press for life at step five, meaning they also had to give up their managerial duties for the Cambs County League representative side.

"We always wanted to test ourselves at this level," McAvoy said.

"There are not many sides in that league that can progress to step five, so you have to move on. We've done our bit at that level.

"This job came up; we got offered it and may not get that chance again, so we'll give it a go.

"I was totally aware of the situation. We had a couple of meetings with Brady, Martin and coach Alan Alsop, and they were all honest and straightforward.

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"They're one of the biggest clubs in the area, so we've just got to create the right environment to attract the right players."

McAvoy and Farmer worked at Press for six months to help them become title challengers at step seven, while the latter also assisted the first, youth and development sides at City.

But having got off to a losing start at Whitton United on Saturday, there were plenty of positive signs to build from.

"There's enough talent and quality in the team now to stay up, but they need that little bit more confidence and maybe another voice to fire them up," McAvoy said.

"I think we need to try and inject some confidence, get people smiling and wanting to be there.

"The big thing is to change the environment and make it positive and enjoyable, that's what we're trying to focus on.

"Hopefully we can get the team together more and take it from there."

"We must make sure we stay up and then we can rebuild over the summer and get this side the way we want."