Returning chairman Ray Tolfrey wants to take Holmesdale forward, says manager Ian Varley

Thursday 16th March 2017

HOLMESDALE manager Ian Varley says he’s looking forward to working for a new chairman next season.

The Bromley based club will be re-appointing Ray Tolfrey as chairman in June after six and a half-years away from Oakley Road and he takes over from Mark Harris, who steps down owing to personal reasons.

Holmesdale suffered relegation from the Southern Counties East Football League top-flight under hapless manager Byron Beard last season.

Varley came in from Glebe, where he was assistant manager to Simon Copley and the pair led the Chislehurst-based club to a third-place finish in the final Kent Invicta League campaign, as well as winning both the London Senior Trophy and Kent Invicta League Challenge Shield.

Copley originally came in to manage Holmesdale, but was employed full-time by Premier League giants Arsenal, so Varley stayed on to take the reins to guide the club to seventh-place in the First Division.

Varley took charge of his 36th Holmesdale game on Tuesday night and two goals from Ryan Golding and one from former Bromley man Sam Long saw title-chasing Glebe come away from Oakley Road with a comfortable 3-0 win.

Holmesdale are in seventh-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 42 points from their 28 league games and have eight league games left, starting with Saturday’s trip to Phoenix Sports Reserves, who stunned league leaders Rusthall with a 2-0 win at Jockey Farm last weekend.

Tolfrey was at the club on Tuesday night and has decided to come back along with former Holmesdale manager Tony Beckingham, who will have a role off-the-pitch.

“I’ve spoken to Ray, Ray’s getting back involved, another body wants to get involved. He wants to take the club forward,” revealed Varley.

“He was here previously when Holmesdale were doing alright at Step Five. It took a bit of a decline over the years. He just wants to get back involved. He wants to see good football, do ground improvements, just stuff like that.  He’s very hands on, very motivated, which is good.

“We’ll go forward with it again next season. I’ll be here, as far as I know.”

Reflecting on his first role in management, the 33-year-old said: “I’ve enjoyed it. There’s no need to rush and do job after job, like a lot of other managers do!  I’ve enjoyed it, it’s a good club, it’s a well-run club.

“We’ve learnt a lot from this year, same as me, all the players’ have as well as I and we’ll be better for it.”

Varley is a qualified coach for The FA and combines his knowledge of the game into a club that play at the tenth  tier of English football.

“I stopped playing at 30, which was always my plan. I was ever playing Ryman South, Ryman Prem, I had a year and once I got to 30 I’ll do a few years as an assistant because people are playing until their 38-39, which is fine but my body, it was never happening, so I thought I’d do the managerial road a bit early than most.

“I’m working with kids, so I can’t swear,” said Salford raised Varley.

“I think it gives, it brings standards and professionalism, that’s what you have to do with the FA, so I bring as much as that as I can to this.  It’s adult football so it's completely different but I bring parts of what I do in my job, the standards and professionalism into this.”

Visit Holmesdale’s website:

Phoenix Sports Reserves  v  Holmesdale
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 18th March 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Mayplace Road East, Barnehurst, Kent DA7 6JT