Moving into coaching that older age group also brought with it new opportunities for Parris to put into practice a more tactical element to his coaching.
“It was great that, with them being that older age group I was able to bring in that side of things and start to give them that tactical information.
“But yet again it was about finding a balance and making sure that I don’t blind them with science, but still giving them some input.
“The first thing to get right though was finding the right number of players and dealing with that influx.
“Once that was in place, we were then able to concentrate more on the tactical side of things and work out how we’d like to play.
“And we went on to win the National Plate in our first year, which was certainly a nice way to start things off!”
For Parris though, aside from bringing that tactical element to their game, he was also able to bring a unique perspective to those young players.
“At the end of the day, I like football to be fun,” said Parris, “even when I played professionally there were plenty of occasions where we did have fun.
“Of course, the higher up you go, it does become more of a dog-eat-dog-world, and it becomes one that’s based on results.
“But there were still plenty of fun times, even in that environment, and that was what I was keen to get across to them; just enjoy the game of football.”
After a few years in the Sussex University setup, it was time for a new challenge for Parris, and it came in the form of Whitehawk.
“At that time, I was still doing some coaching work with Sussex County, and then along came the chance to work over with Whitehawk, and it was definitely the case of the right job at the right time.
“I’d got some experience of the non-league setup, once my career had wrapped up, playing for St Leonards, and then as a player/manager for Shoreham, so I knew the environment I’d be going into.”
Yet whilst this was Parris’ first managerial job, he wasn’t daunted by it.
“It was the sort of job that really did come at the right time for me professionally,” said Parris.
“And because of my manner, I like to think that the lads there were able to take me at face value.
“Of course, with my background in the game, that added another level to it, because if you know of someone, then rightly or wrongly you’re going to have a perception of them.
“But we had some great years together there, and the lads bought into the philosophy and what we wanted to do really quickly.”
And ten years into his coaching journey, how would Parris describe that philosophy?
“Well having been brought up through West Ham, I was always taught at a young age to try and play at the best of your ability, try and play it forward when you can, and if not, keep the ball.
“For me that’s always been something I’ve kept with me and looked to pass on at all the teams I’ve coached.”
“And that first year we made some great progress and it all paid off with that Sussex County Division 1 title in our second season.”
“Again, in my coaching, I was always keen to get across to the players that, no matter what the game, it’s never life or death.
“Of course, it was important, but at that level, if you’re not in the starting 11, it doesn’t have an impact on your home life or personal life, and for me, I wanted to instil that into players, which possibly helped some of them.”