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The Profile: Stafford Rangers manager Neil Kitching

By Gail.Atkinson  |  Posted: August 30, 2014

Neil Kitching

Neil Kitching

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WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Marston Green, Birmingham

DID YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS?

An older brother Ian.

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WHAT WAS YOUR EDUCATION PATH?

After secondary school I went to Coventry University to study European business and technology.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? “I was a year and a half into my degree and I had to drop out because my dad died – he had a massive heart attack at work. He was 55. Dad had his own transport business in West Bromwich and my mum worked with him as company secretary and my brother was a driver with the company.

“I left uni to help run the family business. I was thrown in at the deep end very quickly. We did that for about four or five years then my mum left it to us and my brother and I ran it for a few years on our own before we eventually sold it. I always had ambition to go to university and be involved in some sort of business.

WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THAT?

After we sold the business I went into sales. I worked internally and I always had an ambition to go out on the road and do face-to-face selling. I love it, it’s a great job – I prefer face-to-face negotiations and meeting people rather than over the phone. It’s always been in the construction industry. I work for a fixings and fastenings company in Stone business park.”

HOW DID YOU GET INTO FOOTBALL MANAGEMENT: I always wanted to be involved in football. I played from the age of eight and I was always involved with non league football from the age of 17 so I’ve been involved for more than 20 years as a player and as a coach. I played for Rushall Olympic and went on to play for Sutton Coldfield Town, Gresley Rovers, Hereford and Stratford Town.

I always wanted to coach or be a manager and when I left Rushall Olympic six years ago I ended up playing for Coleshill Town, my home club, as caretaker manager.

Within six months I was asked by Rushall chairman to go back there as manager. I’ve been a manager about six seasons now.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MANAGER?

I quite like the cut and thrust of being a manager – I enjoy dealing with players but there’s nothing like being a player. I’m very ambitious. I have taken my coaching badges although I’ve still got some work to do. I spent quite a bit of money on the badges – it’s a big thing for me. Who knows where that could lead? The Stafford Rangers job is a challenge. I want to get them back where they should be.

WHEN DID YOU FINISH PLAYING?

I haven’t officially stopped playing – I played last year, I was player manager for Rushall and I was on the bench in a few cup games. I might turn out for Rangers if we have a cup game and we have to rest one or two players.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR LEISURE TIME?

I have got two boys who take up the rest of my time, Tom, 12, and Dan 10. They love their non league football. They travel home and away with me to games. They’re big Villa fans. Dan has been a West Brom academy player for three years.

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