MARCUS Ebdon admits that he knows next to nothing about Spalding United – but can’t wait to meet up with the squad for the first time tomorrow and get going.
The 41-year-old former professional, who has more than 350 Football League appearances to his name, is excited at the project which he and Pat Rayment have embarked upon.
They share the same vision on playing the game and, just as importantly, they share the desire to get the Tulips moving up as soon as possible.
And Ebdon – who had spells with Peterborough United, Chesterfield and Leyton Orient – is hopeful he will still be able to make an impression on the field in the United Counties League.
The Tulips new player/assistant manager said: “We’ll see how pre-season goes.
“The desire to play is there but I’ll need to make sure I can contribute something to the team. As long as I can, I hope to be able to figure in some way.
“I think I could help in getting on the ball and keeping it. It might only be for half an hour here or there to maybe slow things down.
“And it will only be in centre midfield – I was put on the left wing once at Posh but that didn’t last long!”
Ebdon and Rayment’s friendship goes back six years and blossomed while playing for Posh Veterans.
He said: “We enjoyed our footballing time together and over a bevvie afterwards it seemed that we had the same sort of thinking about football.
“I don’t know a lot about Spalding but Pat told me about his project and what he wants in the future. He was keen to get me on board and I am happy to be part of it.
“The aim is to get up and out of this league as quickly as possible, but it’s not going to be easy. It takes hard work and that’s what we’ll be telling the lads.”
In his youth years at Everton, which began in 1989, Ebdon was heavily influenced by the managing styles of Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall and the playing styles of Peter Reid and Norman Whiteside.
Perhaps his finest hour as a player came against Stockport County at Wembley in 1992. His pass sent Ken Charlery clear to smash the goal that earned Posh promotion to the second tier of the Football League.
“That’s one of my most memorable moments,” he admits. “I’m also proud of promotion with Chesterfield and my caps for Wales Under-21s.”
In non-league, he had two spells at Tamworth and his first managerial role was as player/manager for Conference North side Alfreton Town.
Ebdon insists that he’s been fortunate to have had a long career in football and is fairly philosophical about injuries which kept him sidelined, saying “they’re part and parcel of football”.
A UEFA B qualified coach, he’s looking at studying for the A badge in the near future.
He lives in Peterborough and will continue in his role as football academy manager at Moulton College in Northampton – a link-up which may bring benefits for the Tulips.
He said: “There are a few good lads there but it’s a bit of a distance and we’ll need to look at incorporating that.”
For now, Ebdon will be concentrating on helping Rayment assess thoroughly what the Tulips already have at their disposal as the build-up to next season gets under way.