Ricky Tompkins quits Gravesham Borough: I played with my heart on my sleeve and when I don’t see that it frustrates me

Monday 18th September 2017

RICKY TOMPKINS says he has quit as the manager of struggling Gravesham Borough because his players failed to show passion for the club.

Tompkins guided Otford United to promotion into the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Premier Division in his only season in charge at the Recreation Ground, before taking over Gravesham Borough in the summer.

However, his time in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division, turned out to be a torrid affair with the club failing to win any of his 11 games in charge and are sitting at the foot of the table with four draws and six defeats from their 10 league outings.

“First and foremost, I want to say thank you to Gravesham Borough and for the opportunity at the club,” said Tompkins, who stepped down after his side suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Phoenix Sports Reserves on Saturday.

“There are some great people involved and I really wish them all the best.  I’m sure the club will turn it around and will be fine in doing that.

“Unfortunately for myself Saturday was the tipping point in performances.  You have to be hitting points in that game and losing 3-0 in my eyes was the icing on the cake.

“I know it was a total rebuild and getting players to play with passion and heart and play together is hard when every player has come from different directions and all over.

“Most players have never played with each other before but by now I would be expecting us to definitely have got a few wins.

“Some of the players that are there are of quality and played SCEFL First Division and the league above.

“I am/was a player that played with my heart on my sleeve and when I don’t see that it frustrates me.

“Some people may say it was early to walk away but in my eyes I’m a passionate manager and want to see hunger and desire and unfortunately it wasn’t consistent enough of all of the players.

“I know that this will turn around for the club and they will travel up the league and I really wish them all the best.

“The facilities (at Chatham Town) are fantastic and like I said the people involved work their socks off and I will miss them but I need to move to something that I can work with, that’s when I’m at my best.

“People may question was it hard in this League? Look, playing wise there are some great teams and club’s and probably some of the best players I’ve seen in this League in a while but managing a team? No way!

“When I’m managing, I’m at my best.  I know the League and club’s so well. I’ve played in it for five years but I just think I didn’t maybe have as much quality as I would’ve liked, which is hard to take.

“But I will not go into too much detail and I’m gutted but people that know me, I need reactions and step-ups and I just didn’t receive that.

“I’m sure a new manager will be in place soon and bring in some quality and up the performances and I wish good luck to everybody at the club.”

Meanwhile, Holmesdale have appointed Lee Roots and Tony Beckingham as joint-managers after Ian Varley stepped down from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division club on Saturday evening.

Holmesdale finished in the top-six in Varley’s only full season in charge, with a playing record of 19 wins, 6 draws and 11 defeats in the league, despite being an amateur club.

Varley, who is employed by The Football Association as a full-time coach, was in charge of Holmesdale for 54 games in total, winning 26, drawing 8 and losing 20 in all competitions.