Stevenage's Kevin Phillips handed first management job at South Shields

Former Burydale schoolboy Kevin Phillips is the new manager of South Shields.

Former Burydale schoolboy Kevin Phillips is the new manager of South Shields. - Credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA

Kevin Phillips has been named the new manager of South Shields.

The 48-year-old, who was born in Hitchin but went to school at Burydale and Collenswood in Stevenage, was spotted playing for Baldock Town by Watford.

But it was his move to Sunderland in 1997 that catapulted him into the national consciousness and the hearts of those on Wearside.

Many Sunderland fans are known to take trips to watch South Shields and the former England international has chosen familiar surroundings to make his first step into management.

Speaking on the website of the Northern Premier League Premier Division club, he said: "This is my first taste of management so I’m eager to get going and I’m very, very excited.

“The club is very ambitious and is an exciting place to be, which is demonstrated by the investment which has been made in the team and the facilities.

“I’ve never been shy in saying I’d love a crack at management when the right opportunity arose, and [chairman] Geoff [Thompson] completely sold this club to me.

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“The club is in an area I know very well and have a great affection for, and coupled with that it has great ambition and a vision to grow.

“I’m licking my lips to be part of it.

“I want to win games and be successful, and I hope myself and the players will enjoy the ride together.

“It’s about winning football matches and trying to find a style that is exciting to watch, on the front foot and giving players the freedom to go and play.

“There’s a lot of hard work in front of us but it’s important to have an enjoyable environment in place so that the players come into work, enjoy what they do and get the most out of themselves.”