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English Non League

Non-League news: Isthmian Leagues

This has been an exciting week for fans of the Isthmian Leagues, with manager sackings and resignings everywhere. There have also been several signings and some interesting appointments.

South East:

18th place and only nine points from twelve games have frustrated many fans of East Grinstead Town. Because of the disappointing start to the season, it will not surprise many that manager Tony Reid has now parted ways with the club. The club then released this statement: “The committee met this week in the light of our disappointing start to the season and, after a lot of discussions, decided that a change in direction was needed. I’d like to thank Tony and his coaching staff for their hard work over the last few months. We’re all disappointed that it hasn’t worked out and I’d like to wish Tony all the best for the future.”

In the middle of the table, we find Hythe Town, who has gathered 14 points from their opening eleven games. Earlier this week they announced a triple signing, with goalkeeper Henry Newcombe, forward Tyler Sterling, and midfielder Bradley Schafer arriving. Newcombe recently played for Chatham Town and has several other clubs on his CV, including Gillingham, Wycombe, and Margate. Sterling is on loan from Folkstone Invicta, who is currently third in the Isthmian Premier League. Bradley Schafer comes from Sevenoaks Town, where he has already scored three goals in 14 games this season.

As with Tony Reid at East Grinstead, no one should be surprised over the news of manager Paul Bryons departure after he lost eleven games in a row. An hour later, the club released a statement where they announced the re-appointment of former manager, Steve O`Boyle. Here is the full statement from sports chairman Andre Motlock: ‘After the difficult decision parting ways with Paul Bryon we have acted quickly to bring in his replacement. We knew that time was not on our side and we needed to sort this situation out quickly. Therefore, we are pleased to announce Steve O’Boyle as our new First Team Manager. Steve returns to Phoenix after leaving us 4 seasons ago. Boyle’s record when he was the manager was fantastic. Two promotions in three seasons is a record that speaks for itself.

Boyle has remained a friend of Phoenix since he left us. When we parted before there was no massive fall out, it was mainly due to the fact we could not keep up with his ambitions at that time. But that is in the past and Boyle would be the first to admit that he regrets his decision to leave. When we realized that Phoenix needed to make a change, we could have advertised the vacancy and probably, and had many applications. But in my mind, there was only one man who truly understands our unique club and can get us out of trouble – and that is Boyle. I think he has some unfinished business to do at Phoenix and I know that he is very keen to get back to doing what he does best. I am upset about Paul leaving, but also now excited about the future for Phoenix with Steve O’Boyle as the Manager.’

This has not been a good week for managers in the division. Hastings United has started the season well, but earlier this week their manager, Chris Agutter resigned from his post. Assistant manager Andrew Brown has taken temporary control of the squad. 

South Central:

Sixth-placed Chertsey Town announced their new manager Ian Selley earlier this week. Selley might be a familiar face for some of the clubs` older fans, after his successful stint with Arsenal during the 1990s. He won both the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the FA Cup for the Gunners before he went on to play for Southend United, Fulham, Wimbledon, and Woking among others. After his playing days were over he went back to Arsenal in a coaching role.

Ian Selley in action for Arsenal in 1993. Photo: Bob Thomas

Some new blood was needed for Tooting and Mitcham after their mediocre start to the season. Therefore, fans of the club will be pleased to hear that the club made a double signing this week. The lucky two are Jordan Clarke and Shakeel Morris who came from Haywards Heath Town and Northwood Town respectively. Clarke has already made ten appearances for Haywards Heath this season while scoring two goals in the process. Morris has scored seven goals in 14 appearances this season for Northwood, who is currently rock bottom in the league. His previous clubs include Bedfont & Feltham and Staines Town.

Premier:

Leatherhead has had a rough start to the campaign, and without some reinforcements, they could face relegation. The arrival of new star winger Darnell Goather-Braithwaite is therefore a relief for fans of The Tanners. The former Queens Park Rangers academy player comes from Summers Lane, where he has played 13 times already this season. Last season he scored eight goals in nine matches for Westfield, before he moved to Hemel Hampstead Town for a short period.

North:

There is no rest for struggling managers in the Isthmian Leagues this week, and the latest “victim” is the managerial duo Mark Harrison and Liam Wallace from Tilbury FC. They had been at the club since 2018 and have enjoyed great success at times, but lately, their performance has had a decline, which led to their departure.

On the other side of the managerial merry-go-round is Great Wakering Rovers, who announced the arrival of Glenn Robson as their new manager earlier this week. Robson brings in Peter Dutton as his new first-team coach.

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