Ex Holmesdale boss Lee Roots joins Kevin Rayner as joint-manager in a quest to guide AFC Croydon Athletic back to the Isthmian League

Friday 19th May 2023

AFC CROYDON ATHLETIC have appointed Lee Roots and Kevin Rayner as joint-managers of the club.

Roots has recently departed Bromley-based Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Holmesdale to join Rayner in joint-charge of the Combined Counties League Premier Division South club.

Roots worked with limited resources at Oakley Road and the club finished fourth-from-bottom in the table this season, collecting 34 points from their 38 league games, finishing three points clear of the relegation zone that contained Canterbury City and K Sports.

Holmesdale announced on Monday that Tony Beckingham and Andy Constable have returned to the club as joint-managers.

Rayner guided the Rams to a fifteenth-place (bottom six) finish last season, picking up 40 points from 38 games, finishing nine points clear of the relegation zone that contained Banstead Athletic and Frimley Green.

Adam Groom (assistant manager), Jon Coleman (assistant coach) and Adam Porter (goalkeeper coach) have left Holmesdale to join Roots at the Mayfield Stadium.

“I’m pleased to add Lee to the management team for what will be an exiting future for the club,” said Rayner in a statement.

“Both Ean Paterson (coach) and Garry Henry (goalkeeper coach) will continue in their roles.

“This is about expanding and utilising the coaching squad to stand the best chance of achieving our aspirations.

“I have known Lee for a long time. He will be a great addition and I’m confident he’ll improve our team as we look to progress over the coming years.

“We’re looking forward to starting the new season. I’m sure we can be competitive next season and surprise some teams out there.”

Roots is relsihing the opportunity of his new job and is targeting promotion into the Isthmian League.

“I am absolutely honoured and delighted to accept the position of joint-manager.

“It’s a truly fantastic and prestigious football club.  A huge thank you to literally everyone involved at the club for not only giving me the opportunity to manage and work here, but for such an open and warm welcome.

“In my time already I have been really impressed by the whole environment that is created at the club.

“Our history is compelling and there is lots of growth and great optimism for our future ahead.

“I’m really looking forward to getting down to work with the very talented players that we already have here, along with new and correct player additions for the start of our pre-season training.

“I have been very close with Kevin for many, many years now and for me personally it’s a great privilege to be able to continue and build on the great work with him, that he and the staff are doing here.

“I feel there’s everything needed at our disposal within the club to go and really now take the club up onto the next level within our ambitions and targets that we have set.

“This brings a whole new excitement and motivation in my work when building towards the kick-off for a new season.  We will bring an exciting brand and expression of football to the Mayfield Stadium for our great loyal fan base to enjoy and get behind.

“Hard work delivers results and we will prepare extremely well and detailed in all our pre-season preparations in order to go attack the league and every competition we face this year from the beginning.

“We feel very confident of the squad we can build here, as a management team we are strong, educated and well experienced in what exactly is needed in order to achieve our quest of gaining a promotion and ultimately returning the club back to Step Four and Isthmian League football.

“I can’t wait to get started and I look forward to not only the new season ahead, but to many more seasons beyond of continued and upwards success with and for AFC Croydon Athletic.”

Groom, meanwhile, is looking forward to the challenges he will face competing in a new division.

"I am exciting to be given the opportunuty by this fantastic club.  I cannot wait to start pre-season training and get down to work with the players," said Groom, who has followed in the footsteps of his dad Terry into football management.

"I cannot thank Lee Roots enough for asking me to come along with him.  I learnt so much working with Lee at Holmesdale and will learn so much more.

"I am also looking forward to being in a new league, with one of the club's being Jersey Bulls.  For any player or management to be able to travel on a plane to the island has a surreal feeling."

Visit AFC Croydon Athletic’s website: www.afccroydonathletic.co.uk