Being appointed as the manager of Greenwich Borough is a brilliant opportunity for me, says shocked Paul Barnes

Friday 12th January 2018

PAUL BARNES says he his appointment as the newly appointed manager of Greenwich Borough came as a shock to him.

The club lost the services of Gary Alexander and John Mackie and players Charlie MacDonald (who scored two goals on his Cray Wanderers debut in midweek), Tom Beere and Mark Phillips after the budget was cut.

Greenwich Borough were expected to appoint former midfielder Peter Sweeney, who is currently on the coaching staff at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Glebe, but he turned the job down and the promotion chasing club turned to Barnes instead.

Barnes was appointed as first team coach at league rivals Ashford United on 5 November 2017 and helped their manager Jason Whitmore turn the corner at Homelands and they travel to Walton Casuals tomorrow on a five-match unbeaten run.

Ironically, Ashford United appointed Alexander as Barnes’ replacement last night.

“Being appointed as the manager of Greenwich Borough is a brilliant opportunity for me to implement my own ideas and methods,” said Barnes.

“Getting my first job in management at a club like this came as a bit of a shock.

“I was very flattered when I received the call to ask to discuss the possibility of taking on the role and the support of people around football for me has been very humbling to say the least.

“I know the club did their research and spoke to various people, so to know that their feedback helped the club in appointing me, I am very grateful.

“My spell at Ashford United was brief, but I truly believe a very influential one. Helping Jason recruit some very talented players and helping give the existing ones the guidance and support they responded.

“May I place on record my sincerest thanks to everyone connected to Ashford United FC. There is so many people behind the scenes who's work go unnoticed and along with the fans, they were fantastic to me. I can only wish them well and hope they continue to push on from the platform I helped provide.

“Jason Whitmore will stay a personal friend and I will always be at the end of a phone for any help or support I may lend.”

Barnes, who has previously worked at Dover Athletic, Welling United and Margate, met his new squad last night and they host fifteenth-placed Herne Bay tomorrow.

“Meeting the Greenwich Borough squad at training for the first time was a very positive and receptive experience, with a few familiar faces whom I have had the pleasure to work with at other clubs and faces that I have crossed paths with before,” said Barnes.

“It made for a good start to my reign and gave us an opportunity to focus on Saturday's fixture against Herne Bay once we got the pleasantries out of the way.

“The chairman has given me my brief and nothing changes from the aims and objectives set out at the beginning of the season, with a play-off place being the target and the club being stabilised after a period of transition, which is always a difficult one when changing manager, especially with the brilliant work done by Gary Alexander, John Mackie and everyone associated with them.

“We will be ready for a bright, young and energetic Herne Bay side on Saturday, led by John Embery and Jermaine Darlington, who may I add are doing an excellent job in their first season in charge.

“We will play as we have all season, on the front foot and looking to play with a high intensity in and out of possession.

“I look forward to my first game in charge and the start of my reign as manager of Greenwich Borough FC.”

Alexander, meanwhile, will play for Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Chatham Town for the third and final time tomorrow, before officially joining Ashford United on Monday.

“Tomorrow I’ll be with Chatham Town before I start a new and exciting role at Ashford United next week,” Alexander, who missed a penalty against Snodland Town in midweek, Tweeted.

“It’s only fair I say my thanks to those who looked after me whilst I wasn’t working and will always be grateful to James Collins and Kevin Hake (Chatham Town’s manager and chairman respectively) for taking me in, thank you.”

Alexander’s first game on Ashford’s management team is next Wednesday’s trip to Cray Wanderers, where he frequently visits to watch Tony Russell’s side in action.

Ashford, meanwhile, have climbed up from second-to-bottom to fourth-from-bottom with 23 points on the board from 28 games.  Shoreham, on five points, occupy the sole relegation berth.

Visit Greenwich Borough’s website:

Greenwich Borough  v  Herne Bay
Bostik South Division
Saturday 13 January 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HP