Word will I’m sure have got out by now that this morning I received a phone call from the chairman Paul Millington to advise me that the board had decided it was time for a change of management.
Was I surprised, if I am honest, probably not, given our recent run of results and in particular the nature of the last two performances against Grays and Wingate & Finchley. I was convinced that as before when we have had a bad run of form that I would turn things around, however the board have made their decision and we will never know.
I was appointed back in May 2009, knowing that my joint manager at the time Del would stay involved as long as possible. Del managed to see the season out and that was the start of building the platform to where Enfield Town FC is now. The club had finished the previous two seasons languishing as a mid- table step 4 side in the Ryman Division 1 North, with players coming and going on a whim, the club had lost its spirit and connection with the fans from what I could see. My first task was to get that spirit back and we could build from this base.
I think that my record over the first four seasons speaks for itself, all expectations were exceeded when we reached the play off final after finishing 4th in the first season. The second season we finished 6th, missing out on the play offs by one point but took the club the furthest in both the FA Trophy and FA Cup in its short history. Of course then there was the memorable season when we moved into the QE , achieved a 2nd place finish in the league , missing out on the title by a point , but promotion was achieved through the play offs to the Ryman Premier. We then met the aim of all connected with the club by maintaining our Ryman Premier status on limited resources with a 16th place finish on our debut season.
This season things haven’t progressed as anticipated and after a reasonable opening month to the campaign, a points haul of 10 from 7 games which is lower to mid table form, we have seen both points and performances drop away since.
Some have told me prior to and since the news broke that some of the players have let me down , well I will let others pass comment on that, I know ultimately they are the players I select so if they have or they haven’t, it is irrelevant, the buck stops with me.
I will leave Enfield Town FC not as I would have liked, but in the knowledge that I have helped the club progress to where it is today. I have had nearly 4 and a half years with the club being part of my life and it won’t quite be the same without it. However losing your job is part and parcel of football management and comes with the territory. I would like to think that during my tenure I have managed to help provide, along with the players, more happy memories than sad. I have made many new friends in my time at the club and they are things that cannot be replaced. Getting to know the likes of Roger and Paul Reed, Paul Millington, and Keith Wortley and to see how much time they put in has been a pleasure. The board have done their best to provide me with as much in the way of finance as is possible to help improve the quality in the squad and each season there has been a little bit more. Ryman Premier football however is a different animal to playing at Step 4 and like at all levels of football, in general with the odd exception money talks.
I would like to personally use this chance to thank the players for their support, on the whole they have been top drawer, a few, Kirbs, Hopey, Jordan, Bardle, Gio and Gunz have been with me for each of the seasons I have been here. My management team also deserve a mention, Jason one of my best mates and a top A licence coach, plus both Pete and Bryan Hammatt have all been instrumental to the success we have enjoyed.
The supporters have been great and even in the last couple of months during our bad run of form (apart from the few who have finally got their wish), have been no different to during the good times.
I leave in my opinion with my head held high and being the manager who led the club to the Ryman Premier Division. No one can take that away from me and I am proud to be a part of the history of the club.
I would like to wish all connected with Enfield Town FC all the best for the future.
Updated 22:15 - 13 Nov 2013 by Dean Vale