DAVID Walsh is the new Blandford United manager, Echosport can reveal.

Walsh jumps into his first managerial role with the Royals after previous boss Josh Feirn stepped away from the role.

He is joined by assistant Simon Leney, who spent time with Walsh at Shaftesbury last year and encouraged Walsh to go for the Blandford job.

Walsh, a goalkeeper by trade, spent his formative youth playing career with Salisbury and had a one-year spell at Eastleigh Reserves before switching focus to coaching.

He helped Winchester City to Wessex League success in 2012 and worked alongside former Premier League ace Matty Holmes in the youth ranks at AFC Bournemouth between 2010 and 2015.

READ MORE: Josh Feirn steps down as Blandford boss

Walsh then moved to Southern League side Wimborne Town as goalkeeping coach for four years, ending his stay at Cuthbury in 2020.

Walsh moved to Wessex League side Shaftesbury until August last year and has now landed his maiden job in management.

He told Echosport: “I felt it was a good opportunity to go into management. I’ve done a lot of coaching and goalkeeping coaching in the past.

“I felt it was a good step to take to go into management and see what I can do in that position.

“Blandford are a good club, I had a good chat with the board and the committee. Their vision matches my own personal ambitions.

“I presented ideas and our ideas matched. It came about with my assistant Simon, he knew a few people there.

“Me and Simon worked well together at Shaftesbury when I did the reserves for a little period of time. It was good that me and Simon have found a job to work together in.

“Blandford came up, we went and watched them play which was important.

“We saw the players play and saw what they were about, which gave me a lot of positive feelings that I could go in and work really well with the players and also take the club forward step-by-step.”

Quizzed on what style of play fans at Park Road can look forward to, Walsh said: “It’s important to entertain people but I think first and foremost we have to be very difficult to beat.

“We have to make Park Road a difficult place for teams to come to. To start with there will be a bit more of a pragmatic approach.

“Be compact and then when we’ve got possession to look after the ball, keep it to hurt teams with quality we’ve got.

“In the longer term we’ve got good crowds. People want to see goals and be entertained, hopefully we can score a few.”

Walsh also spoke of two influential characters during his coaching career.

He said: “It was a great time at Wimborne with Matty being manager there. I learnt a lot off him and at previous clubs.

“Many years ago I was at Winchester with Guy Butters. Those are just two people that I can mention.

“Matty was incredible at the job, so learning off him, see what he did and try to pick up bits to take into my own management style was important.

“You learn in certain situations how to deal with certain scenarios, deal with players and all those things. It was a good few years there and a lot of learning took place.”

Walsh will debut with the Royals at Westland Sports in the Jewson Dorset Premier League on Saturday (2pm).