Keith Bird leaves his post as Holmesdale chairman to become Canterbury City's new manager

Wednesday 19th January 2022

CANTERBURY CITY appointed Keith Bird as their new manager last night.

Bird has recently resigned from his role as Holmesdale’s chairman at their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division rivals and leaves the boardroom at Oakley Road to take charge of the homeless club in the dug-out.

“We felt that it was vitally important after the last couple of seasons to look to recruit somebody with experience and Keith has that in abundance,” said a club statement.

“As an UEFA B coach, Keith will bring a range of experience and expertise in helping Canterbury City to maintain our Southern Counties East Football League Premiership Step Five status.

“He matches our ambitions of pushing much higher when we have the structure and facilities in place.

“Having been part of the staff at Bromley, along with being first-team manager at Tunbridge Wells and Cray Wanderers we felt that Keith will provide great ability and sustainability in helping shape the future of the club and driving us forward.

“Most recently Keith has been chairman of Holmesdale FC where he has been helping the club in their first season back at Step Five and we are grateful to Holmesdale for allowing Keith to step down from that role in order to accept this position at Canterbury City.

“He will be assisted by Sam Wilson and Dan Lawrence, for which we are delighted.  They have albeit in a short time, created a feel-good factor around the place and had positive results.

“This is an exciting appointment. We are certain this is a massive coup for the club as a whole.  We obviously would like to thank Dan and Sam for a fantastic effort in helping build a team spirit and the results they achieved in a small space of time.  This was one of the deciding factors in asking for them to carry on helping with the good start they had made.

“Keith will be in the dugout for our fixture at Lordswood on Saturday and he is already excited from what he saw in the display against Rusthall.

“With our next home fixture against Fisher on 29 January, we hope to see a great crowd to welcome Keith and bring lots of noise and support.”

A Holmesdale statement on 17 January said: “We are delighted to announce the return of Ray Tolfrey as chairman.

“Thanks go to Keith Bird for his contribution over the last few months and our best wishes for the future.”

Sam Wilson and Dan Lawrence were in charge of their 3-0 home defeat to Chatham Town, a 2-2 draw at Bearsted and a vital 2-1 home win over Rusthall last weekend, which was the clubs first win in 12 games.

Canterbury City travel to bottom side Lordswood on Saturday, sitting in fifteenth-place in the table with 20 points from 22 games.

Lordswood’s newly-appointed manager Richard Dimmock has overseen two defeats to Rusthall (2-0) and K Sports (2-1) in the Challenge Cup and are rooted to the foot of the table with nine points from 21 games, a run of 11 games without a win in all competitions.

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