Tooting & Mitcham United boss Craig Tanner has enjoyed the good, the bad and the bizarre side of football management over the past few weeks, but he is loving every minute.
Tanner, 27, took on his first managerial role at Imperial Fields in the summer after a playing career that began at Tooting, then took him to Sutton United, Hampton & Richmond, Carshalton Athletic and Met Police, was cut short by a knee injury.
He endured a tough start to management in Ryman Division One South – featuring just one win in the opening seven games – but the Terrors turned results around and were on a run of three consecutive victories ahead of last weekend.
However, despite hosting bottom club Eastbourne Town and seeing Jordan Cheadle hit a hat-trick, Terrors were beaten 4-3 at home.
Tanner said: “We did not take Eastbourne for granted, and given our form going into the game, 4-3 was a surprise.”
He added: “But on the plus side, we targeted nine points from four games and we got that, and the players have grown in confidence, which is what you want as a manager.”
The Terrors, 11th in the table, go to Folkestone Invicta this weekend, with Tanner relishing every moment.
“To say I am loving it, would be an understatement,” he said.
“I take part in the odd training session, probably against doctor’s orders, and the lads can see my enthusiasm and desire.
“I think that is rubbing off on them too. They have started to believe in me as a manager and the things the coaching staff are trying to do.”
He added: “When they go out on the pitch, they look like winners.”
Tanner is without Frankie Sawyer (hamstring) for up to two weeks, and Paul Smith (knee) until the end of the month.