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Doswell's legacy is not just about trophies
Sutton United boss Paul Doswell has committed himself, and his cash, to the club until 2018.
In that time, the 48-year-old is determined that the club leaves a legacy that future generations can build upon.
Top of the agenda is the redevelopment of Gander Green Lane, and the club announced this week the first stages of a £1m project to turn the ground into a community-based sports hub.
The works include replacing the oval terrace at the Collingwood Road end with one designed to skirt the pitch, costing £180,000.
Doswell, who has signed a four-year contract on £1 a year, insists the new terrace will be in place for the next season - because he is the man behind the work and the funding.
However, despite stumping up the money, he does not want it named the Paul Doswell Stand.
He said: “While I can help financially, there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes that make it possible.
“If you’re going to put a plaque on the stand, it will need to have about 100 names on it. They are all volunteers and their hard work is what I love about the football club.
“There are always a few people who have a hidden agenda or want to be in charge, but Sutton is one of the only clubs I have come to where everyone sings off the same hymn sheet.”
He added: “A massive part of me committing to the club is down to Bruce Elliott [chairman] being there, and we, with the board, have decided to do what is necessary over the next four years.
“I also see it as a nice thing to leave behind rather than just being remembered as a football manager who did OK on the pitch.
“Call it a legacy if you will, but it is right that we leave something better than what we found.
“I would not want to walk out after 10 years and not see any improvement apart from the football.”
In his six-year tenure, Doswell guided United back to the Skrill South as Ryman Premier champions after two play-off disappointments, as well as three jaunts into the first round proper of the FA Cup.
And there has only been one occasion where he almost walked away, following a mixture of fatigue and defeat to Kingstonian in the second play-off disappointment.
Extreme makeover: Gander Green Lane is to be given a £1m overhaul.
“I was travelling huge amounts from home to training in Sutton, and after the bitter blow of the play-offs I spent a week wondering if I could do it.
“That is when I changed the training from Sutton to Guildford, and from night to day, which allowed to stay with it.
“I have had opportunities to leave, but as long as I felt the club could go in the right direction I have been right behind it.”
He added: “It’s not that I am shooting for the stars, we’re not a League Two club, but as long as it was competitive I was always behind the club.
“More importantly, it is the relationship I have with the board and Bruce [Elliott, chairman] – they run the club meticulously and they don’t interfere with the football, which is very rare.”
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