CONCORD’S long-serving winger Gary Ogilvie says a year of coaching the club’s youth team has made him a better player.

The 25-year-old was appointed Under-18s boss at the Beachboys last summer and has combined that role with helping the first team with their surprise Vanarama South promotion bid this year.

Ogilvie (pictured) had previous experience of coaching and playing in America and Canada but says the opportunity to work alongside Rangers’ increasingly successful first-team manager Danny Cowley has developed his skills further.

He said: ?I?ve been playing football since I could stand up and always considered myself a student of the game, but the coaching side of things certainly helps you to appreciate the game in a different way.

?I had previous experience of coaching but working with Danny has helped me develop my understanding of the psychology of it all a bit more. Danny is very big on that and it is important – and it certainly helps you as a player.

?And combining the two positions has been fine because it often means taking the Under-18s early on Tuesday evening and then training with the first-team afterwards.?

Ogilvie says the Under-18s production line is working well with the likes of Riggers Kabashi and Jake Chaplin already tasting first-team involvement and hot prospect Alexis Ndoro scoring twice in a 2-1 win for Essex Under-18s over Norfolk this week.

He says all of his young stars are determined to push their way into Concord?s first team, who will bid to keep alive their play-off hopes at home to third-from-bottom Hayes on Saturday.

Ogilvie, who has four goals this campaign, said: ?It?s a cliché but there really are no easy games in this division so we are not expecting that against Hayes.

?They secured safety last week so they will play with a bit of freedom and their players will be trying to impress for next season.

?But we have already hit a few big targets too by definitely finishing above Chelmsford, finishing higher than we did last season and getting more points this year.

?And to still have something to play for with two games to go is amazing. I?m sure there are other teams who would love to be in that position.?