FORMER Torquay United assistant manager Colin Lee is taking training at Bovey Tracey AFC tonight, as part of his appointment to new football academy at South Dartmoor Community College.
Lee will run the post-16 academy at the college from the 2014-15 season, and work alongside coach Chris Beard, who has worked on academy projects with League clubs including West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City.
The 57-year-old followed Keith Curle out of Notts County earlier this year, having been assistant manager at Meadow Lane.
But the academy role marks a departure from League duties for Lee, who has previously managed clubs including Wolves, Watford and Millwall.
The college are forming a partnership with Carlsberg South West Peninsula League club Bovey Tracey AFC as part of their new academy, and tonight's training session is part of preparations for their FA Vase first round clash against Shepton Mallet on Saturday.
Lee is due to put Ryan German's players through their paces on the 3G pitch at Ashburton Sports Centre in a taster of what he can offer next season. In return for taking on players, the football club will also benefit from use of a college minibus for away games, as well as a matchday programme for home games.
The news of Lee's appointment was inadvertently leaked on Ashburton Sport Centre's autumn newsletter, with the college yet to release an official statement on the appointment.
A spokesman for the football club said they did not want to comment ahead of the college's statement, but admitted it was 'terrific' for everyone at Mill Marsh Park.
Bovey Tracey first-team boss Ryan German said having coaches of the calibre of Lee and Beard on board could only be good for the players.
"I think Colin will learn a lot off me to be fair," he joked.
"But seriously, the lads are looking forward to it, and it will be a good chance for the rest of us to stand back and pick up on things."
While the school have their eye on giving young players the chance to play in competitions including the FA Cup, the club are relishing their opportunity to shine in this season's FA Vase.
Having already knocked out Western League Premier Division Street in the previous qualifying round, Bovey will fancy their chances against Division One side Shepton Mallet.
The game has already been described as the 'biggest in the club's history' on more than one occasion.
German has left no stone unturned in his efforts, resting a number of key players last weekend against Liskeard Athletic and having the Somerset side watched on more than one occasion.
He added: "We took a bit of a gamble last week as we did some things in training which were designed for the Shepton game.
"We've also had them watched a couple of times.
"I've spoken to Colin [Lee] and Chris [Beard] and given them a bit of feedback on what we saw at Shepton Mallet, and they have been working on some things that we need to do for the game.
"We will be prepared to the best of what we can, whatever the result will be."
Skipper Dan Taylor and midfielders Stuart Bowker and Lewis Plackett were all on the bench for last weekend's clash against Liskeard, which Bovey won 3-2.
Sam Dicken scored a hat-trick as the Moorlanders raced into a 3-0 lead, only for the Blues to fight their way back to 3-2 with 20 minutes left.
German was relieved his side had come through unscathed, managing to pick up the win while still resting players.
"The performance wasn't great and we know we're going to have to lift it, but we're injury-free and have big players coming back."
German is also hoping a few 'neutrals' will come along to watch the game.
He added: "Posters have been put up around the town and we're hoping that as it's a national competition we will get a few more.
"So fingers crossed we will have a good crowd and hopefully we can repeat what we did at Street."