Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Cray Wanderers under new management
Cray Wanderers FC have announced the departure of manager Ian Jenkins and the appointment of Keith Bird as the club’s new manager along with Mike Paye as his assistant.
Ian Jenkins left after a run of poor results that stretch back to the start of the current Ryman Premier season. Ian had been with the club for 23 years,14 of those as manager and during his time in charge has won two promotions.
Club chairman, Gary Hillman, said: “To say that’s its been the hardest decision [letting Jenkins go] I’ve ever had to make in my life is a bit of an understatement. He is the most passionate football man I know and my best mate. I still believe he’s the best manager in the Ryman Premier League but has just been a victim of recent circumstances which was out of his control.”
He added: “We currently sit at the bottom of the Ryman Premier League without a win or a goal in 5 games. Things have gone from bad to worse particularly over the last couple of weeks. I really couldn’t see us getting out of this mess unless something changed.”
The new management team of Bird and Paye have met with the players and are already plotting how to turn around Cray’s fortunes both on and off the pitch.
They have been working together for the last eight years and have enjoyed considerable success with the Bromley FC under 18s and the reserve team.
Keith is working towards his UEFA B coaching badge and Mike is a former Wanderers player who, prior to that, played for Charlton FC.
They will be joined by Michael McDonald who will fill the coaching and physio roles.
Gary said: “I was very impressed with how Keith and Mike have performed in their management roles at Bromley – particularly the professionalism they’ve displayed and the strong organisational skills they have demonstrated. They are born winners. I see this appointment as a three to five year project. Although its going to be very hard at the beginning with the limited resources and league position they have inherited, I believe they will turn it around allowing the club to kick on.”
It is not only on the pitch that the club has had its woes. Off the field things have not gone according to plan either.
Last September Bromley Council threw out the club’s application to regenerate a patch of waste ground in Sandy Lane, St. Paul’s Cray into a purpose built stadium that would be at the heart of the community.
Gary, who will have been Cray's chairman for 20 years in January, said: “Ever since our application was turned down by the planning committee last September there has been an air of doom and gloom around the club. This has resulted in sponsors pulling out, players leaving and gates and income dropping.”
But he is made off sterner stuff and is prepared to fight on to bring the club home to its roots.
He said: “We will be putting in another planning application soon. Hopefully the planning committee will see the benefits to the Cray community and to its own finances this development will bring. The Orpington Labour party support our efforts to return home. I hope Bromley Council will as well.”
He concluded: “It’s vital that the atmosphere at the club changes and we get back to winning ways. Hopefully our new management team will be the catalyst for this to happen. And I hope the supporters will give Keith and Mike all the support they can.”
Comments are closed on this article.