We’ve been working with our hands tied for so long, says axed Ramsgate joint-boss Jim Ward

Thursday 05th January 2017

AXED brothers Jim and Danny Ward have spoken of their “shock” and “bewilderment” after being sacked as Ramsgate’s management team tonight.

Ramsgate have parted company with the Scottish brothers with the club sitting in the bottom five in the Ryman League Division One South table with a playing record of seven wins, five draws and 15 defeats in the league.

The Rams played well during the first half of their game at Cray Wanderers on Saturday, taking a 2-0 lead through Tom Chapman and Aaron Millbank (penalty) inside 32 minutes but holding midfielder Oliver Gray picked up his second yellow card after 50 minutes.

Cray Wanderers fought back and claimed a draw by scoring twice in the final eight minutes through Danny Haynes and a Joe Kane own-goal in stoppage time.

Ramsgate then travelled to Hythe Town and went down to a 1-0 defeat on Bank Holiday Monday,  which extended their winless run to seven games.

But the axe fell on the pair ahead of Saturday’s home game against East Grinstead Town, a side a couple of places higher than them in the league pecking order.

The club issued a statement on their website www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk, saying, “Due to a poor season the board has decided that a change is needed and so Jim and Danny Ward have been relieved of their managerial duties with immediate effect.  Further announcements will follow in due course.”

Ramsgate announced that the Ward brothers were returning to manage the club on Friday 1 May 2015, after guiding Whitstable Town to their highest finish in the Ryman League Division One South of eighth-place on 71 points, 10 points adrift of the play-offs, in their only season in charge at The Belmont.

In a joint-interview tonight, Jim Ward reacted to the news first.

“Surprised, bewilderment.  We’ve been working with our hands tied for so long. It’s been a difficult road and as far as I’m concerned personally the performances have been good, the results haven’t been perfect, far from it, I’m not saying it.

“League tables don’t lie but we’re full of kids! The oldest player we’ve got in our club is 26 year old!  They’ve decided to go down their road, that’s fine, that’s their call.”

Danny Ward added: “Absolutely gutted to be honest with you!  We’ve got a great blend of players coming through for the future in between right now, right here and we’re seven points clear of relegation. 

“We could so easily have got six points against two of the top teams in the league at the weekend. Alright, we only got one but with injuries and the kids we’ve got out there the future of the club looks good and if they haven’t got the foresight to see that, well that’s down to them more than anything else.”

Jim Ward then spoke of his regret of leaving Whitstable Town to return to manage the Rams.

“We got enticed back from Whitstable, with an enticement being the right word with promises of this and promises of that, that’s never really materialised,” he claimed.

“The last year the budget had been cut twice to our surprise and tying our hands so we can’t move on.

“Perhaps it was a mistake coming back to Ramsgate in the first place – I put my hands up for that.  That’s mainly my fault more than Danny’s.”

Danny Ward added: “I wish I never left Whitstable to be honest with you.  I said I’d never go back to Ramsgate but I did for the right reasons for what we got promised at the time.”

When asked about the pair’s future, Danny Ward replied: “To be honest, I’m still in a bit of shock! Never saw it coming in any way or form. 

“We played Cray on Saturday, should have won and at Hythe we were unlucky to lose, playing against two of the top teams in the league.”

Jim Ward added: “People know what we are and what we’re all about and know what we bring to the party.  We’ve been successful at other clubs.”

Danny Ward added: “It won’t be the last thing we do in football, whether it’s together, individually or whatever.  Clubs that are interested, they know where we’re are. If they want to get in touch, it’s down to them.

“I’d just like to thank the players with what they’ve done. There’s a lot of players at Ramsgate with a very good future in front of them and we have given them and chance and hopefully they’ve leant from what we’ve given them.”

Jim Ward said: “We don’t have a big support at Ramsgate and they’re not very vocal either. The 10 or 12 supporters that have watched the away games, especially in the last three or four months, they’ve appreciated what we’re trying to do.  Nine out of 10 games the players get clapped off. They know what the situation is so I’d just like to say thank you to them.

“I hope from their point of view they get out of trouble.  I hope they make the right decision.”

Danny Ward said: “One thing I would say, there was no chance of us getting relegated this season! I know people say you’re not too good to go down.  I thought some of our performances we would have quite comfortably stayed up and the next half a dozen games are winnable games.  We’ve come through the hard spell especially Cray and Hythe, two games over three days, and that’s more than disappointing than anything.

“If we had picked up the three points we deserved against Three Bridges when the game got abandoned – which we would have won – and if we held on at Cray on Saturday we would have been on 32 points and no one would have been looking down.  I don’t really see where they’re coming from!”

“If anyone wants to speak to us individually or together it easy to get hold of us.

“I’m still in a state of shock.  We’ve given everything to the football club.  Jim runs the golf day, I run the Christmas raffle and it’s a pity that in the first week of January we’re not there.”

Visit Ramsgate’s website: www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk