Cherries: Bradbury is Isle of Wight boss
COME next July, he would like to be celebrating with a new playing contract and an open-top bus parade around Ryde. Introducing, Lee Bradbury: Isle of Wight manager. The versatile Cherries star has added another string to his bow and started preparing for the future by taking his first steps on the road to management. But despite his appointment as head coach of a youth team and as boss of the Isle of Wight, Bradbury says he has no immediate plans to hang up his boots. The 35-year-old will be hoping to taste success when he takes charge of the Isle of Wight football team at next year's Island Games in Ryde in the summer. Bradbury, whose current contract with Cherries is up at the end of June, told the Daily Echo: I've always wanted to pursue a career in coaching and management because I want to stay in the game when I've finished playing. It would be a shame to just walk away after such a long time in the game. Ideally, I would like a management position but you have got to learn the ropes first by coaching. I've got my UEFA B licence and am working towards my A licence. I started taking a few sessions at my son's youth football club, Sportstars in Whiteley, and they asked me to become head coach when the previous guy left. I do two to three hours a week and watch one of the age groups every Sunday. Bradbury has accumulated 565 career appearances since buying himself out of the Army to join first club Portsmouth some 15 years ago. Since then, he has been the subject of transfer fees totalling around £5m, his ports of call taking in Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Portsmouth for a second time, Walsall, Oxford United, Southend and now Cherries. He has also served four other clubs on loan. I haven't made too much of the management thing because I don't want to jump the gun, said Bradbury. I still want to enjoy my playing days and feel I've still got plenty to offer. I want to keep playing for as long as I can. I've been fortunate to get paid for what I consider to be my hobby and don't want things to change for a while yet. This week's events at Newcastle have highlighted the uncertain life of a football manager with Chris Hughton sacked despite leading the Magpies back to the Premier League and guiding them to the top half. I know it's a cut-throat business, said Bradbury. But it's the next best thing to playing and I want to experience life on the other side of the fence. Nine times out of 10, if you are doing well, you will be rewarded. As an outsider looking in, the Chris Hughton situation was strange to say the least. Most of the time, if you do a good job, people will be keen to hire you. As a manager, you are put on a pedestal and are there to be shot at. That's something I'm used to. As a player, it happens on an individual basis whereas managers are responsible for other people as well. Bradbury says he has taken both positives and negatives from the 25 managers he has worked under during his career but knows the most important ingredients are hard work and luck. He added: Getting a job is probably the hardest part. You need to know someone who will give you a chance and then you need to surround yourself with people you can trust. There is also an element of luck so, hopefully, I'll be lucky one day!
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