PORTSMOUTH legend Alan Knight was last night unveiled as the new manager of Dorchester Town.

The 50-year-old, who leaves his role as goalkeeping coach at Havant & Waterlooville, will be assisted by former caretaker-boss Phil Simkin with skipper Mark Jermyn installed as player-coach.

And chairman Shaun Hearn believes the new management team will be a big hit.

Speaking at last night’s fans’ forum, held prior to the 3-2 victory over Poole Town, the county town businessman said: “Alan Knight will (today) be confirmed as the new manager.

“Phil has agreed to stay on as his assistant and Mark will sign a new contract as player-coach – that is the way forward and we feel that between the three of them they can take the club forward.

“Alan wants a challenge and after speaking with Phil we decided that we perhaps needed a wider catchment area for bringing in players.

“Alan has contacts from Ports-mouth, Southampton and Bristol and I’m sure he will bring in players in the near future.

“We’ve lost a lot of players lately, such as Gary Bowles and Chris Flood, and Ryan Moss is also going soon so we need quality replacements for those players.”

Knight, who made 801 appearances for Pompey, is no stranger to the Avenue Stadium, having previously coached at the club five seasons ago.

Hearn added: “Out of the eight or nine people we interviewed, everyone was a good candidate for the job. It’s been difficult but sometimes you get a gut feeling. It felt right to all of us that heard the interviews.

“Alan will be sitting down with Phil on Thursday and there won’t be any massive changes. He would have liked to have been at the game (last night) but he was still employed by Havant.

“He is 100 per cent committed to doing a job here and he will get involved with the community and commercial side of things.

“He will be Dorchester Town 24-7. He’s not on a contract and it’s going to be week to week. Some managers prefer to work that way and it’s in our interest to go that way.

“Hopefully it will be a success, but if not then we are not lumbered with having to pay up someone’s contract.

“Recent performances have been better and I’m sure Phil and Mark will have a massive input in the way we continue to play.

“But if you look at Alan he has played under the likes of Alan Ball and Jim Smith, who like the ball played on the deck, so hopefully he will have picked up some tips from them which can benefit us.”

Simkin said: “This is my club and naturally I’m disappointed I didn’t get the job, I thought at one stage I had done enough to get it, but I respect the club’s decision and I have a lot of respect for Alan Knight.

“We had a chat on the phone (last night), he desperately wants me to be here, the chairman has offered me a long-term deal and hopefully everything will drop into place.

“We’ll look to get stronger and hopefully try and get near the play-offs.”

Jermyn is also keen to link-up with the new boss, adding: “It’s a good appointment and once the lads speak to him they will see it the same way as us. Alan is in a great position as we have stripped the squad back so he can bring in the players he wants.

“I know him from when he was here before and he is a top bloke, it’s down to him to prove his worth.

“Shaun has given him his backing and since he has come in as chairman, the club has only gone forwards.”

Former West Ham defender Julian Dicks was among the frontrunners for the job but finances proved a major stumbling block.

Hearn said: “Julian had two interviews, he came across really well, he had fantastic contacts but we didn’t offer him the job.

“He priced himself out of it and although he has contacts at the likes of West Ham and Tottenham we didn’t feel it would be right bringing in players from that area. Alan’s range of contacts made more sense.”