SHORTWOOD United  boss John Evans will work in tandem with former Forest Green favourite Alex Sykes next season.

Sykes, who played  League football  for   Mansfield Town and  Conference Premier and Conference North for Forest Green and Gloucester City respectively,  left his  managerial role  at fellow Evo-Stik Southern & West Division outfit Bishop's Cleeve at the end of the season.  

Evans, who also managed Forest Green at Southern League level, is delighted to capture the Rednock PE teacher.

He said: "I have known Alex for a long time and was in fact his training manager as he trained to become a teacher. 

"Alex was the preferred choice to join our backroom team, when he was given the opportunity to manage Bishop's Cleeve two seasons ago. 

"He recently became available and I am delighted that he has agreed to join Shortwood."

Evans and Sykes will now aim  to build on Shortwood's impressive first season at Southern League level, where  the Meadowbank side finished eighth.

Evans added: "Alex knows many of our players and is impressed by the set up at the club. He has good contacts in the game and we have already started to put together a wishlist to see if we can enhance our squad and build on our impressive debut season." 

Meanwhile, Sykes spoke of his delight to work alongside his former teaching mentor.

He stated:  "Evo  was   my mentor when I started out as a teacher at Archway School and we've always maintained a great relationship.

"He had a vast experience of teaching and has a vast experience of football too, and I can't wait to have a chance to tap into that."

Evans retired as  deputy head at Archway School two years ago and Sykes' will be groomed to take the hotseat at some point, but he doesn't envisage the veteran boss  hanging  up his tracksuit yet.

Sykes added: "In the long-term the plan  is to  take over and he certainly has other things that he wants to do, he's a keen golfer and cricket chairman and player at Frocester.

" I don't think he has any plans to give the football up just yet, as what happened last year with the club establishing themselves in the Southern League certainly  whetted his appetite."