Tony Beckingham and Andy Constable return to take joint-charge of Holmesdale to continue the good work that Lee Roots has done over the last few seasons
HOLMESDALE chairman Ray Tolfrey has appointed two familiar faces to take joint-charge of the club.
Tony Beckingham and Andy Constable have both returned to Oakley Road, after Lee Roots left the Bromley-based club at the end of last season.
The Dalers finished in the bottom four in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table last season, collecting 34 points (eight wins, 10 draws) from their 38 league outings, retaining their status in the ninth-tier of English football on limited resources.
Beckingham and Constable started last season at Erith & Belvedere but both left in controversial circumstances as the league champions finished the campaign with Matt Longhurst in charge.
After leaving the table-topping Park View Road club in December 2022, Beckingham had brief spells at league rivals Erith Town under Adam Woodward and then joined James Collins at Isthmian League Premier Division side Bowers & Pitsea.
Constable finished his playing career at Holmesdale before joining Beckingham as his assistant manager last summer, before being appointed interim-manager for 14 games before leaving on 10 March, to be replaced by Longhurst.
The Deres claimed the league title on 83 points, finishing two points clear of Phoenix Sports, who also sealed a promotion into the Isthmian League South East Division by beating VCD Athletic in the Inter-Step Play-Off.
“I’m really happy to be going back to Holmesdale with AC as first-team managers,” said Beckingham, ahead of his third spell in charge of the Bromley-based side.
“Holmesdale is a club we both know very well and when offered the opportunity after Lee Roots’ resignation, we were both very happy to return and try to continue the good work that Lee has done over the last few seasons.
“The club is certainly going in the right direction off the field with some exciting new additions that will enable us to progress on the pitch and flourish off it.
“It has been a miraculous feat for a club like Holmesdale to stay at Step Five but the board know that to maintain and progress, the infrastructure had to be significantly strengthened.
“These announcements will be made in due course but for now we will concentrate on building a squad to compete in the league next season.
“You would have to be an idiot to realise how tough it is going to be next season. As well as the three clubs relegated from the Isthmian League, you have still got the likes of Deal Town, Erith Town and Whitstable Town etc to contend with.
“Looking at the make-up of the division, every fixture is going to be competitive. All the teams that finished towards the bottom had an upturn of form at the latter stage of the season and will be looking to take that into the next one.
“We will have to recruit wisely but with the players that we know and the contacts that we have. We are confident in our ability to give everyone a game.
“We are in the process of finalising our management team and will confirm that very soon. For now, like every other manager at this level of football and at this time of the year, we will have mobile phones glued to our ears and hands trying to put together a squad of players that want to be as successful as we do.”
The Football Association, meanwhile, has confirmed the League allocations for the 2023-24 season.
Holmesdale will be one of 21 clubs in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.
They will be joined by the three clubs that were relegated from the Isthmian League South East Division, VCD Athletic, Faversham Town and Corinthian and the two clubs that came up from the First Division in the shape of champions Snodland Town and play-off winners Lydd Town.
Relegated pair Canterbury City and K Sports will be in a 16 club First Division, while Bermondsey Town have been relegated into the Feeder League’s after a dismal debut season which saw them go through three managers, picking up 10 points from 32 games, as they suffered to cope with the tenth-tier of English football.