Staplehurst Monarchs appoint Steve Sands as their new manager
STAPLEHURST MONARCHS United have appointed Steve Sands as their new first-team manager.
Sands has replaced Luke Wallond, who was appointed the new manager of Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Snodland Town.
“We are excited by the experience that Steve brings to the club,” said a statement from the Kent County League Premier Division club.
“During his accomplished playing career, Steve spent seven seasons with Hastings United. He went on to join Hawkhurst United in what was the most successful time in his playing career, winning six trophies in only three seasons.
“Steve also has previous links to Staplehurst Monarchs completing in the Kent County League Premier for the club before moving to Hildenborough Athletic to finish his career, winning the league in 2012-13.
“Hildenborough was also where Steve began his coaching and management career before moving to Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Rusthall in the 2016-17 season.
“Steve led the side to promotion in his first season and secured Premier Division status the following year.
“In 2018-19 Steve returned to Hastings United in the Isthmian League South East Division as first-team assistant coach and under 23 coach.
“In his first season, Hastings’ first-team unfortunately lost in the play-off semi-finals and the under 23s finished second in the league.
“The 2019-20 season saw Hastings sitting top of the league, seven points clear before the season was abandoned due to Covid-19.
“Steve clearly brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and proven record of success.
“The club believe Steve will help move the first team and whole club forward in the years’ to come.”
The Headcorn Road outfit were sitting at the top of the Kent County League Premier Division table at the time of the coronavirus outbreak and have been denied promotion into the Southern Counties East Football League First Division for the first time after The Football Association declared non-league football from Step Three null and void with no promotions or relegations.
The club were seven points clear of Kings Hill with 10 league games remaining - and they also celebrated winning the Premier Division title the previous season but were denied promotion due to failing ground grading criteria to play in the tenth tier of English football.