NEW Bridport manager John Godbold expressed his desire to improve the Bees’ young crop of talent after taking over at St Mary’s Field.

Godbold on Sunday evening succeeded previous boss Jamie Manley and Kevin Leigh after the duo stepped down last week.

Bridport have lost eight of nine Toolstation Western League Premier Division games this season and sit 20th with just five wins from their past 44 competitive fixtures.

Former Wimbledon and Chelsea centre-back Godbold, part of the Dons’ famous ‘Crazy Gang’ in the late 1980s, has coached in Qatar, India, the USA and Singapore.

UEFA A licence coach Godbold also had spells at Dorchester Town’s academy and Weymouth Reserves, plus Redlands and Shaftesbury in recent months.

But Godbold revealed a conversation with former Bridport manager Bob Russell, who he assisted in 2003, had helped tempt him to join the Bees.

He told Echosport: “When the job came up, obviously I’d worked at the club for a short time with Bob.

“We chatted about the job and club and he spoke very highly of the chairman (Adrian Scadding).

“It really was a case of having one phone conversation and he impressed me immensely.

“Also we were on the same script. I do feel, especially with (Covid-19), the development of local players is crucial.

“I went on Saturday morning and had a look round the club, because it’d been a fair number of years since I’ve been there.

“Again, I was really impressed with the facilities and I think it’s got huge potential, it’s got everything in place.

“It opens up my strength as an A licence coach. If we’re going to work with local players, we’re going to go young, but you’re not going to work miracles overnight. That’s going to take time.

“I certainly see it as longer-term. Survival is going to be our number one priority and to stop conceding goals. Then we try and build from there.”

Godbold is yet to name his assistant, adding: “I’ve got some ideas, that will happen relatively quickly. I’ll have two or three people I want to work with, but I’m still talking to people.”