PHIL Babb is confident he has the credentials to take his first steps into the managerial world with Hayes & Yeading United.
The former Liverpool defender was appointed manager of the Blue Square South club last week following the club’s disastrous campaign last term.
United struggled to avoid the drop after first Nas Bashir and then Tony O’Driscoll failed to get the club firing on all cylinders.
Interim co-managers Tristan Lewis and Delroy Preddie were parachuted in to secure safety in the final weeks of the season.
The duo were never in the running for the job on a permanent basis and instead it is former Republic of Ireland international Babb who has taken the reins.
Despite significant experience as a player, the UEFA-B licensed coach has not ventured into the dugout before as a manager.
Babb insists this will not prove a problem and believes jumping on the managerial merry-go-round at non-league level is the natural step.
He said: “This is the right way to get into [management]. As a purist, you want to do your apprenticeship and there’s no tougher apprenticeship than non-league football.
“You can have someone who has managed at non-league level for 10 or 15 years, and I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, but they’ve never played at an elite level.
“You can have managers who have never played the game. I’ve played at the highest level and gained experience, but once I retired I set up a fairly successful business and was interested in the mentoring side of being a football agent.
“When you marry all of that together and add in Tristan [Lewis] and Delroy [Preddie] on the coaching team, then I think we’ve got a pretty good formula. It was key to my appointment that I kept Tristan and Delroy as part of the team.”
Babb first appeared on the scene at Hayes & Yeading two years ago when he was invited to a reserve game by then manager Bashir as part of his agency work.
He has been keeping a close eye on events ever since and already has a good knowledge of the club and what is required from him.
“The club has suffered over the past two seasons. They lost their Conference Premier status and fought relegation last season.
“It was a bad end to the season but we can consolidate next season and build a winning mentality. It’s a great project and I like the fact that the club is forward thinking. I’m here to learn my trade and to get the team performing better.
“If that takes 12 months, 24 months or five years, so be it.”