I am absolutely delighted to be appointed and can’t wait to get to work at Greenwich Borough, says Paul Barnes
ASHFORD UNITED coach Paul Barnes has left the club to take over as the manager of their Bostik South rivals Greenwich Borough.
Barnes was appointed Greenwich Borough’s manager last night, replacing Gary Alexander who quit the club on Thursday 4 January owing to budget cuts.
Players Liam Hickey and Tom Carlse and physio Huseyin Torgut took temporary charge of their 5-2 win at Hastings United last Saturday, a result that puts the club in fourth-place in the table with 55 points form 28 games, only five points adrift of leaders Lewes and four behind Cray Wanderers, who have signed striker Charlie MacDonald following his release form Greenwich.
Ashford United have turned the corner under Jason Whitmore and Barnes in recent weeks and travel to Walton Casuals on Saturday on a five-match unbeaten run that has seen the club rise from second-from-bottom to fourth-from-bottom with 23 points in the bag from their 28 league outings.
Ashford are 18 points clear of Shoreham, who occupy the sole relegation berth and seem destined to lose their Isthmian League status after just one season at this level.
Greenwich Borough were expected to turn to their former midfielder Peter Sweeney, currently a part of the coaching staff at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Glebe, but he turned the job down and Barnes accepted the role last night.
“Paul was approached by Greenwich and he informed me on Monday that they wanted to speak to him about the vacant managers job,” Whitmore told www.ashfordunitedfc.com.
“After his meeting yesterday they have offered him a great opportunity to manage them. Although we didn’t want Paul to leave we understand the opportunity was too good for him to turn down.
“We will still remain good friends and he is always welcome back at the club.
“We will work closely to find a replacement for Paul who has the same ethos as the club.
“The players have been spoken to by both myself and Paul and will continue to work hard for what both me and Paul started.
“In football I’ve learnt that things change quickly and we will move quickly to find the right person for Ashford United Football Club.
“On behalf of the officials, management, players and supporters we would like to wish Paul all the best in his new venture.”
Barnes, who has previously worked at Dover Athletic, Welling United and Margate, said on his Twitter account: “I would like to thank everyone connected to Ashford United for giving me the opportunity to work for a brilliant club.
“It was not an easy decision and I wish you all every success in the future. I hope all the Ashford fans get behind Jason Whitmore and the players.”
Barnes' first game in charge will be at home to Herne Bay on Saturday and he added: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed and can’t wait to get to work at Greenwich Borough.”