Rochester United appoint Barry Morgan as their new manager
ROCHESTER UNITED have today unveiled Barry Morgan as their new manager.
Morgan has left his assistant manager’s role at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Sheppey United to take charge of a club that will be playing in the First Division next season.
Rochester United started the campaign with Matt Hume in charge but he stood down after eight games and former Holmesdale boss Ian Varley took over for nine games before Paul Gross and Darren Anslow came in as joint-managers but failed to keep the club in the Premier Division.
Rochester United finished rooted to the foot of the table with three wins and seven draws from their 38 league games and were the sole club to be relegated after Rusthall received a reprieve.
“We had a difficult season last year and I think both managers that we got in, Ian Varley and Paul Gross worked really, really hard to try to steady the flow for us," said chairman Matt Hume.
“I think towards the end of the season we were putting in some really good performances and competing, we were just a bit unlucky.
“Having spoken to Barry we feel we want to go back to the core of our values really, which is where we built our success, where we can get a local manager and attract local players.
“We have to build from scratch again, which will do us a favour.
“Barry has an awful lot of experience, he knows the club well and he’s a good friend of mine and I’ve known him a long time as well and he’s ready to take another managerial role. He was with Sheppey for four years’ now and is very good friends with the manager (Ernie Batten) there.
“He’s excited about the role and we think it’s good for the club as a whole to have a fresh tact on things and start afresh for next year with a new way of doing things really. We’re trying to get local players back to the club, which we built on the success before.”
Hume has challenged Morgan to be in a position where the club can challenge to bounce back at the first attempt.
“It’s very easy to say I’d love to get promoted straight away again. The aspirations off the pitch are as important on the pitch really,” said Hume.
“Since getting promoted, I think everyone’s realised the teams that get promoted have to try to get the infrastructure, to get the financial situation where you can compete because the money side of things are massive in the league above.
“Even if you get promoted with a very good side, to keep that together in the league above when people approach your better players, it’s very, very difficult.
“The aspirations now is to start again knowing we’ve got a good solid club there now and a manager coming in who knows what it’s about. He was at Lordswood for a number of years, he knows what it’s about to take on a club like ours and that’s what was needed.
“I’d like to say as chairman let’s get promoted as quickly as we can and bounce back but I know that’s a difficult job.
“My own aspirations are let’s get us back to having a good side on and off the pitch and winning a lot more than we were losing last year. If we can get back to that as a starters and I’m sure we’ll be one of the bigger clubs, we’re certainly not the biggest club in the league below but I think we’ll be one of the bigger clubs in the league to attract players and with the manager in place we can challenge for things next year – competing very well and winning more games than we’ve been in the league above really.”
Hume guided the club (then named Bly Spartans) to the Kent Invicta League title in 2012 and was asked how he has coped with his chairman role.
“It’s different. I mean I’ve got a lot of feelings for the club, I’ve been there a long time. I was involved with the success of getting us up there. I’ve always got opinions on football. One thing you’ve got to do is stay out of the goings on, on the pitch, that’s the manager’s job to do," said Hume, who advises players to contact Morgan for a summer trial.
“You do miss that side of things but being involved in the club and still trying to help it in what way I can is important to me.
“I want to see whoever’s in charge there making a success of it and getting it back because there’s been a lot of work from committee members to get the club in the position where we are now over the past five to ten years. It’s been a big achievement off the pitch as well.
“I miss the football side of things but I just haven’t got the time to manage any more with my business commitments and being involved in a small way, which I think I am, gives me some input to help the club.”