By Leigh Bailey, BTFC Live Radio
New Billericay Town Assistant Manager Paul Konchesky has his sights firmly set on success as he returns to New Lodge to join Jamie O’Hara’s management team.
No stranger to achievement, the left-back’s professional playing career spanned 20 years and included two full England caps. He accumulated, over 500 League appearances, for a host of teams including spells at Charlton, West Ham, Tottenham, Fulham, Liverpool, and Leicester City.
A return in a new role, after a short playing spell in 2017, is welcomed by the former Blues skipper. “It’s something I wanted to do and get into”, he emphasizes. “It’s a great opportunity for me to come back and go places with the new owners.”
Whilst Blues fans have had few signings to debate, behind the scenes wheels are turning as Konchesky explains, “I speak to Jamie every other day. I want to say that the side we’re trying to get together will be one that people look forward to seeing”.
Whether his contribution to the cause involves playing regularly is unlikely but not impossible. He concedes, “I’ve stopped playing now for nearly two and a half years.”
However, talking to Konchesky, it is evident that the spark still remains. He admits, “I‘ve played the odd charity game but I’ve just started to miss it.”
If he is to play again, it will take some friendly persuasion from O’Hara. “I know that Jamie might twist my arm to register. If I register and he needs me, and club needs me to play. I feel fit enough to do it”, says the 39 year old, confidently.
Since hanging up his boots, this Barking born lad, and self-confessed Hammers fan, has been working at West Ham United. Mentoring academy players, coaching part-time across academy age levels, he was also appointed Loans Manager.
Entrusted with monitoring the development of the top, young talent at the club, duties include visits to U-23 players loaned out at a number of League clubs and compiling feedback for the parent club.
Now ambitious to make his mark in his own right, Konchesky is relishing linking up with O’Hara and getting to work. “We’re two young managers and the owners have an ambition to get out of this League. We’ll be working hard with what we’ve got to go where we want to go.”
With Town providing daily updates on the progress of the new 3G pitch, Konchesky is visibly impressed by the developments at New Lodge and underlines just how much the new infrastructure will contribute to the club’s development.
“I’ve been down to the stadium and the pitch makes it for me. It will be a massive plus for the side we’re trying to get football-wise and support our plans to try and get out of this League.” He adds enthusiastically, “I’m looking forward to getting the team on it and giving as much advice to Jamie and the players as I can.”
With a key strategic goal of the club owners to build a pathway between the youth sides into both the Men’s and Women’s first team, Billericay Town has never had so many players representing the Town.
With that in mind, Konchesky offers some sage advice for those in the early years of playing football. “Enjoy yourself and play with a big smile on your face. Work hard every time you either train or play. Work-rate is vital in football.”
For those with ambitions of a career in the game, he relates his own experience as a young hopeful of 14 or 15. The most striking aspect is his single mindedness and determination to succeed, which are key in terms of the commitment required the higher the level targeted.
“You have to do things right”, he explains. “It’s not just playing football, you have to do more than that. You have to make sure that you live right, you eat right, and you sleep well. Everything needs to be there if you want to achieve (being a footballer).”
Konchesky’s football CV shows that he applied this advice to the letter throughout his playing days. Unsurprisingly, he has no hesitation on his best career moment. “Playing for England at full level was probably the highlight of my career, playing twice is something I’ll always remember.”
Even now, there’s still a lot left from that hard-working 15 year old in Konchesky. Adding, “I was so excited at playing for my country but you always want more. You have to keep working hard rather than forget about what got you there.”
With that philosophy, Konchesky is sure to be as committed to succeeding in his new management role alongside O’Hara as he was in his playing days. That can only be good news for Billericay fans.