We'll move on to bigger and better things, insists Bromley chairman Dolke

Tuesday 28th February 2006

Bromley Football Club chairman Jerry Dolke insists “next season will see the beginning of a new era at the club,” despite showing the door to his current management team at the end of this season – a decision that has brought disdain from the Hayes Lane faithful, writes Stephen McCartney.

www.kentishfootball.co.uk  EXCLUSIVELY revealed earlier today that joint-managers Billy Smith, 63, George Wakeling, 62, and assistant manager, Frank Coles, 41, are leaving the Ryman Premier League club at the end of the season – after Smith felt it was time to break the news that’s been churning inside him for several weeks. 

Bromley progressed into the semi-finals of the Westview (Ryman League) Cup following their passionate 3-2 victory over Wealdstone – in front of their lowest crowd of the season at Hayes Lane last night. 

When asked what’s the secret behind Bromley’s seven match unbeaten run, Smith EXCLUSIVELY revealed to www.kentishfootball.co.uk  after last night’s win: “The secret is me and George have got the sack at the end of the season so we want to finish on a good note.” 

The experienced trio, who already knew their fate, have also led the club to the semi-finals of the John Ullman Kent Senior Cup, where they’ll host Ryman League Division One leaders Ramsgate at Hayes Lane next month, and could face Gravesend & Northfleet or Margate (winners of the competition for three successive seasons) in the final. 

But the Hayes Lane faithful have reacted with disdain on internet message boards, after they were kept in the dark over the departures of their beloved management team.

Today’s news, which attracted plenty of attention when this website broke the story at lunchtime today, has forced Mr Dolke to issued the following statement on their website. 

“This is a crucial period for the club and the board regards the timing and manner of Billy Smith’s announcement as extremely unhelpful, particularly considering we are not yet completely clear of the relegation places – but we have to move on,” he said. 

He added: “This is a decision that wasn’t made overnight and it was only taken at the end of a terrible run of results that saw the club slip from possible play-off contenders to the brink of the relegation zone.

”I will be taking a more “hands on” role in team affairs with the help of Mark Goldberg and Murray Jones. 

“Mark will bring his great motivational skills into the dressing room and Murray (with) his experience of the game at all levels.

”Next season will see the beginning of a new era at the club with big things happening on and off the field and there will be further announcements to follow in the coming weeks and months.

”I would like to thank all three for their hard work in stabilising the club and securing promotion at the end of last season and I wish them every success in the future.”

What is clear, however, is the Bromley faithful would like to thank Smith, Wakeling and Coles for their service to the club and wish them well for the future.

The saddened trio will surely receive a good recpetion from fans when Heybridge Swifts visit Hayes Lane on Saturday (3pm), instead of leaving the club they've served so well over the years through the back door during the close season.