My time in football management is long gone now, admits newly-appointed Metrogas coach Billy Walton
BILLY WALTON says his new coaching role at Metrogas suits him down to the ground as the lure of West Ham United playing at the Olympic Stadium next season has taken hold.
The NRG Gym Kent County League outfit appointed Simon Smith as their new manager today, with Walton coming in as assistant manager/coach.
The New Eltham based outfit finished in tenth-place in the Premier Division table last season after winning back-to-back league titles under Roy Davies, who left the club last summer to take charge of Kent Football United for a short period before Ennio Gonnella replaced him at the helm.
“Well, I’m not actually assistant to be honest with you, I’m only just helping where I can and that’s what I’ve agreed with them,” explained Walton.
“I’m just helping with a bit of coaching and a bit of training and if I’m there on match days really.
“It’s not really a full-time job, just helping my local football team. I’m pleased to be involved where I possibly can.”
Reflecting on his short spell as assistant under Gonnella at Dartford-based Kent Football United, Walton said; “Well, I was only there for about two or three games so I wanted to make sure that was known. I wasn’t really there for a long period. I was only there for a few games, where I felt it wasn’t the role for me and good luck to Ennio, he decided to stay and go alone and done a great job with the resources that he had.”
The former Fisher boss admitted he is not looking to getting back into football management at a higher level of football.
“No, no, no, my time in football management is long gone now. I’m quite happy. That’s why I took up my role at Metrogas. It suits with my work commitments and going to West Ham. I’ve got a new season ticket for the new season at West Ham. I just want to help out and fill in the little spaces of my work and going to West Ham really.
“It’s perfect. Metrogas is a local team, close to me. I’ve known Simon, the manager, for a long time. Like most of us do in football we all know each other. He’s a really nice guy, Simon and he’s got the same philosophy as me about football.
“Steve Firkins and I actually had him on board when we were at Greenwich Borough and he’s got a lot of our ideas. We like to play football the right way. I think he’ll do well. I’m just going to help him out and when I can.
“Hopefully West Ham will be involved right up to the Final in the Europa League which means they’ll be playing (Premier League games) on a Sunday, so I’ll be available to go with Metrogas on a Saturday.
“It suits me. It’s something that I enjoy doing, a little bit of coaching and giving bits of advice and try them to be a bit more entertaining and play some nice passing football.”
Walton, meanwhile, has high hopes for The Hammers during their debut season at The Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
“West Ham will be the next big club in Europe over the next five years,” he said.
“The new stadium and the support they’ve got and the manager, I think West Ham will be the next biggest thing, certainly in this country. Most people fall about laughing when I say that, watch this space!”
Smith, meanwhile, joins the club having worked for the youth section at the club, Our Lady Youth and most recently has been coach and physio at fellow tenants and rivals Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club.
Club secretary Tim Morgan said: “We had lots of interest in the role following it's advertising a few weeks ago. In fact we had over 15 applications and I would like to thank everyone who applied. Myself and the rest of the committee felt Simon was the stand out choice for the role following our meeting and his knowledge and history with the club played a big role in that. He even played for our vets a few seasons ago, so it feels like an in-house appointment".
Scott Howard comes in as goalkeeping coach who has previously worked with Smith.
Mr Morgan added: "Bill (Walton) and Simon worked together at Greenwich Borough and have a similar philosophy towards football so the fact that Bill with his previous experience is able to help out around his West Ham commitments is excellent.
“Scott is a qualified goalkeeping coach and will work with the goalkeepers and works with Simon currently at Newtown Tigers a youth side playing in the Selkent League".
Returning player Tom Forster, a fully qualified personal trainer, will also be part of the pre-season set up and will put the boys through their paces.
Martin Cheeseman, who was on the coaching staff under departing manager Joe Glover, will also be staying at Metrogas.
Visit Metrogas’ website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/metrogasfc