Bishops Cleeve - John Brough has set his sights on making Bishop’s Cleeve a powerful force after being named as Alex Sykes' successor as Manager at the the Division One South & West club. The former Cheltenham Town defender will be assisted by his former Robins’ team-mate Michael Jackson, who will be player-coach at Kayte Lane. Brough spent time as a coach at Cleeve before re-joining Cheltenham as their Head of Youth. He held that position until February 2012 and since then he has worked as a first-team coach at Southend United, followed by a scouting role for Everton’s Academy but the 40 year old has always wanted to take charge of a senior team and he cannot wait to get started at Cleeve.
“Since day one of starting my coaching badges the aim has always been to become a first-team boss,” Brough said. “I feel I’ve been through my apprenticeship at youth level and hopefully I can take all the experience I’ve picked up into this job.” He has already been in contact with several potential signings, including former Cheltenham youth team pair Joe Turley and Matt Williams. He is hoping to assemble a talented young team with a smattering of experience to help guide them on the field. “I am starting with a clean slate really but there are players from last season I’d like to retain,” he said. “Players like Sam Avery and the Davis brothers Lee and Mikey are still there from my time coaching the club and I’ve known Michael Jackson very well for a long time. Jake Lee is also there who I worked with at Cheltenham and I have pinpointed a few more players I’d like to bring in.” Brough is hoping to use his contacts at Cheltenham and Hereford United to bring in scholarship players on youth loan arrangements next season.
“I’ve spoken to Russ Milton at Cheltenham and Peter Beadle at Hereford and when you are working with a limited budget, a chance to bring in young players of that calibre is important,” he said. “I've had some positive meetings with the Chairman at Cleeve, Dave Walker, and we have laid out short, mid and long-term goals. I want to make Cleeve a powerful force in their league to start with.”
Brough will call his players back for pre-season training on Saturday, June 29th to begin preparations for the new campaign. He is hoping to confirm a home friendly against Cheltenham as well as possible warm-up games against Kidderminster and Hereford. “I want to improve everything at the club, on the pitch and off it, and that will all be part of my job,” he said. “I want to try and avoid the ‘little village’ club perception and it will be all hands to the pump to make sure that happens.”
Brough was planning on returning to the Cheltenham area anyway and he will move back at the start of June. In the meantime he will be on his phone putting together a squad he feels can improve on this season's bottom-but-one finish.
Bridgwater Town - Richard Fey is standing down as Assistant Manager of Premier Division club Chippenham Town to take over the post of Manager of Division One South & West side Bridgwater Town.
A former goalkeeper with the likes of Frome Town, Mangotsfield United and Bristol Manor Farm, he previously managed Western League side Bitton. He joined Chippenham as assistant-manager in May 2012.
Burnham - Bob Breen, Chairman of Division One Central champions Burnham, is stepping down after three years in the role and will be replaced by Gary Reeves. He took over as Chairman from Ian Gould in 2010 and has helped to bring stability to the club off the field and was also responsible for bringing manager Martin Stone to the club in 2011. Under Stone, Burnham won Division One Central last season and promotion to the Premier Division for next season, the first time the club has competed at Step 3 of Non-League football.
Breen said “It is very satisfying to see Burnham FC in a far better position than when I joined. We have changed the way we operate our facilities with the opening of a new fitness club and gym as well as the Little Blues Nursery School and these activities are proving to be extremely popular with the wider Burnham community. Our success in winning promotion this year has presented an opportunity to expose the club to an even wider audience. The club is in a great position now, both on and off the field, to really grow and establish itself at a higher level. I believe the time is right for me to hand over to a younger Chairman and I have every confidence that Gary Reeves is the right man to achieve this.”
Reeves, who takes over with immediate effect, has been working with the club for the last two seasons as well as holding a number of positions within the Berks and Bucks FA, the East Berks League and Slough Town Cup committees. Commenting on his appointment, Reeves said “I have wanted to get more involved in the club for a while and this is a fantastic opportunity for me to do so. I am confident I have the drive and enthusiasm to take on this fresh challenge. I will be cutting back on my other football duties so that I can be completely focussed on Burnham FC.”
Didcot Town - the Club has appointed Andy Wallbridge as Manager of the Southern League side along with Justin Lee as Assistant Manager. 39 year old Wallbridge, who during his playing career was with Oxford United, Banbury United, Didcot Town, Oxford City, Marlow, and Worcester City, has managed uhlsport Hellenic League Wantage Town for the past three seasons, winning the Hellenic League Championship in his first season as Manager and achieving a second place finish in the table last season.
Lee is a former Arsenal player who was capped at both England Youth and under-21 international levels and he also played for Oxford City, Thame and Banbury United. In recent times he has been involved in management at Hellenic League level with Oxford City Nomads and Witney Town.
Didcot Town Chairman John Bailey commented on the appointment, “I was pleased to offer the involvement with Didcot Town to Andy and Justin. Both are relatively local to the area and have achieved success within their previous managerial placements. I feel that Didcot will benefit from their talents and enthusiasm.”
Gary Elkins stepped down as first team Manager earlier in the month. Gary was unable to fully commit due to work but has expressed a desire to still be involved and we are delighted to accommodate his wishes. He was involved in the interview process to find his successor.
Evesham United - the Club has announced the appointment of Shaun Cunnington as their new Manager. Cunnington started his playing career with Bourne Town and then spent most of his playing days (over 500 games) in the second tier of English football with Wrexham, Grimsby Town, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion. He started his professional career as a trainee with Wrexham before moving to Grimsby in 1988 for a fee of £65,000. He then moved to Sunderland in 1992 for a fee of £650,000. He spent three years with West Brom before moving on to Notts County.
In 1998 he joined part timers Kidderminster Harriers. After a spate of injuries he eventually retired to become a coach, and in 2003 became Harriers' youth team coach. In October 2004 he became Caretaker Manager after Jan Molby resigned following a poor run of form. He then returned to be youth team coach when Stuart Watkiss became Harriers' new boss. He left Aggborough in July 2005 and in May 2008 he became Manager of Willenhall Town. He was manager of Halesowen Town, replacing ex-Luton Town favourite Tony Thorpe in January 2011 until September 2012, when he resigned from his post. Cunnington also had a spell as a player with Evesham.
Hitchin Town - the Club has appointed Mark Burke as manager with immediate effect after a short spell as `interim` boss. Burke, whose association with the club goes back to 1985, played over 700 games for Hitchin between 1985 and 2005. He was captain of the team that pulled off two FA Cup giantkilling feats in 1994 and 1995 and also led the Canaries to promotion in 1993 and 1999. In recent years, Burke has been coach and assistant-manager at Hitchin, serving under Robbie O’Keefe and Carl Williams. He is also Hitchin’s community officer and has presided over a vast range of community-based projects. Burke has appointed former team-mate Adam Parker as his assistant. Parker scored over 100 goals in a Hitchin career that spanned 1995-2005 and was a popular figure at the club throughout that period. Parker brings with him managerial experience from his time with Hatfield Town and Chesham United.
Hitchin Managing Director Andy Melvin said “There are no two more committed Hitchin Town people than Mark Burke and Adam Parker. Mark’s wealth of experience and understanding of the club will be crucial in taking us forward next season. Adam was one of the best players to play for Hitchin Town during my time as manager and his enthusiasm for the game is infectious.”
Redditch United - Simon Redhead has parted company as manager of Premier Division club Redditch United. After a successful career as player in non-League football, Redhead moved into management in 2009 with Alvechurch, guiding them to their highest finish in the Midland Alliance two years running, including a Birmingham Senior Cup appearance and winning two Worcester Senior Urns. He had a spell managing Redditch in the Conference North in 2010/11 season before moving into a scouting role for a number of Conference Premier clubs before returning to the Redditch helm in the summer of 2012.
Redhead said “My position became untenable following a meeting with chairman Chris Swan last Thursday as he decided to reduce the budget further and lead the club down a reserve and youth route for the future success. Having worked with one of the lowest budgets in the league, including three reductions last season, we felt the position became impossible to continue. I’m very proud of what we achieved last year in difficult circumstances, working incredibly hard to achieve our objective of survival and narrowly missing out on penalties to Stourbridge in the Worcester Senior Cup. Towards the end of the season we had made progress with the side and were looking forward to developing this next season. I want put on record my best wishes to the club and new manager Liam MacDonald who has move from player community coach to first-team manager.”
Also leaving along with Redhead are his management team of Asa Charlton and Kim Casey.
McDonald becomes Redditch`s fifth manager in two seasons. McDonald played a key role in keeping the Reds in the Southern Premier last season. But after spells with clubs including Tamworth, Kettering Town and Worcester City, the midfielder is ready to make the move into management.
Shortwood United - Manager John Evans has announced the arrival of former Bishops Cleeve boss Alex Sykes to share in the management and coaching duties.
Evans said “I have known Alex for a long time and was in fact his training manager as he trained to become a Teacher. He is currently a Physical Education teacher at Rednock School in Dursley. A qualified coach, his playing career included successful spells at Forest Green Rovers where he was promoted to the Conference and also Gloucester City, where he played over 200 games. He was top scorer from midfield when they were promoted to the Conference North. Alex is a fully qualified coach and it is no secret that Alex was the preferred choice to join our backroom team when he was given the opportunity to manage Bishops Cleeve two seasons ago. “He recently became available and I am delighted that he has agreed to join Shortwood. He knows many of our players and is impressed by the set-up at the club. He has good contacts in the game and we have already started to put together a wish list to see if we can enhance our squad and build on our impressive debut season. I would like to formally welcome him to the club and wish him an enjoyable and successful time.”
Slough Town - Steve Bateman and assistant Fred Cummings have left Division One Central club Slough Town by mutual consent. Chairman Steve Easterbrook said “I would personally and on behalf of the club like to thank Steve and Fred for their committed service during their time at the club and wish them and their families all the best for the future. Steve and Fred will always be welcome back and both leave Slough with everyone’s best wishes. Since the end of the season and following numerous discussions and meetings, both Steve and myself agree that the time is right for a change.”
Bateman took over the management of the club towards the end of the 2008/09 season and immediately guided the team away from the threat of relegation. Over the next four seasons, under his management, the club achieved three play-off positions. This season saw the club narrowly miss out on a play-off position, despite amassing eighty-three points, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Red Insure Cup. The club also enjoyed a fantastic FA Cup run when they were finally defeated after a replay on penalties in the First Round Proper by Mansfield Town - a club who went on to secure promotion into the professional Football League. To avoid any speculation no decision has been taken with regard to a new manager and a further statement will follow in due course.
St Neots Town - the Club is very excited to announce that it has signed a contractual agreement to work in Partnership with Norwich City to identify, recruit and develop talented young footballers. The Partnership will also encompass a programme of support for our coaching staff, opportunities for our own young footballers to be part of a Premier League Academy environment (based at the Rowley Park, The Cozy Stadium) and also ensure that those who are identified as having the talent are given the opportunity to progress. St Neots Town will also benefit hugely from working closely with Norwich City to aid our own ambitions and to continue our progression up through the football pyramid.
St Neots MD Lee Kearns said “It cannot be overstated how important the Partnership with Norwich City is to St Neots Town. It should be viewed as a statement of intent to our continued commitment to grow and develop St Neots Town as a brand, a business and, most importantly, as a highly ambitious football club. I would like to thank Norwich City for this fantastic opportunity”. Manager and Head of Football, Iain Parr added “Any ambitious Football Club needs to have the foundations in place that enables you to build a successful club both on the pitch and off the pitch. A partnership with Norwich City speaks volumes about our club and how we go about our business. Our commitment to take St Neots Town forward and our long term objectives are there for all to see”.
Ricky Martin, Norwich City Academy Manager commented “Norwich City are delighted to agree a long term working agreement with St Neots Town which will allow our academy to utilise the magnificent facilities at Rowley Park as a recruitment hub for East Anglia. St Neots Town are looking to build their club with the same objectives as our Academy and we look forward to working with them at all levels from grassroots through to the progression of their first team. I would like to thank their MD Lee Kearns for giving us this opportunity”.
Compilation - 2013/14
(subject to alteration)
Leamington and Gosport Borough promoted to Conference North and South respectively, Bedworth United relegated to the Northern Premier League Division One South and Kettering Town to Division One Central, and Barwell transferred to the Northern Premier League Premier Division have been replaced by Corby Town and Hinckley United, both relegated from Football Conference North, and Truro City from Conference South together with the four promoted clubs - Burnham, Poole Town, Biggleswade Town, and Hungerford Town
Hemel Hempstead Town
St Albans City
St Neots Town
Division One Central
Following Burnham and Biggleswade Town's promotion to the Premier Division and the transfer of four clubs to Division One South & West (see below), Potters Bar Town have been transferred from Isthmian League Division One North and are joined by Kettering Town, on relegation from the Premier Division, and promoted clubs Aylesbury United, Dunstable Town (both South Midlands League), Egham Town (Combined Counties League), Marlow (Hellenic League), and St Ives Town (United Counties League).
Ashford Town (Middx)
Chalfont St Peter
North Greenford United
Potters Bar Town
St Ives Town
Division One South & West
With Poole Town and Hungerford Town promoted, Abingdon United and Sholing, who both resigned from the League, joining Winchester City at Step 5 and with no clubs relegated from the Premier Division or being promoted from either the Western or Wessex Leagues, the Leagues Committee of the FA was left with no alternative other than to transfer four clubs - Fleet Town, Godalming Town, Guildford City, and Thatcham Town - from Division One Central, together with Stratford Town, on promotion from the Midland Football Alliance.