Thursday 27th January 2005

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Sevenoaks appoint from within - for the short term at least

SEVENOAKS TOWN general manager Graham Logsdon has said the club will take their time in naming the successor to John James, who resigned from his post as first team manager on Wednesday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Greatness Park outfit, in their second season playing Go Travel Kent League football have collected only six points from their last nine league games and Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Slade Green - where striker Dean Bowey netted a hat-trick to score his 301st career goal - was the last straw for the former reserve team manager.

James said: "Well, we've had a win against Lordswood and we've gone five games without a win.

"I didn't think there was anything wrong with our open play but without the ball we were very vulnerable and no matter how much work we put into it, we were still giving away sloppy goals.

"I felt my points of view weren't getting over and we were conceeding too many goals when we were losing.

"Our style of play was ok, but we were undisciplined when we didn't have the ball."

After three and a half years at the club, his first as first team manager, James felt someone else could bring fresh ideas into the squad.

"There's no pressure on a manager as it's only their second season in the Kent League - but really there is," he said.

"I just felt I done two thirds of the season, brought some new lads in, but we still couldn't get out of a bad habit.

"I am very disappointed with one or two senior players but generally you don't get a second chance in this - you get punished for your mistakes."

James, however, admitted he will take some time out but has been asked by the club's committee "not to walk away from the club."

He added: "As I've been here for three and a half years, if they could feel someone else could do a better job to come in and bring in some fresh ideas.  However, there are no real targets with what the club needs to achieve this season."

Logsdon, currently on holiday in Norfolk, was disappointed with James' decision to resign as first team manager.

He said: "John was appointed at the beginning of the season, basically because of  the hard work and his achievements in the second team in previous years since he has been with the club.

"His track record with the reserve team was second to none.  I think he won everything in the Kent County League and finished 5th in the second division of the Kent League last season.

"So on that basis, the chairman and myself felt he should be given an opportunity to take the first team position.

"I think he has found it hard work with such a changed squad from last year

"He has worked hard and wears his heart on his sleeve but I think results and performances haven't really been acceptable to him and to the club.

"John likes to win like most managers and especially in recent weeks he has found it really hard, which has probably resulted in the decision he has made."

Gary Davies, who joined the Greatness Park side in October from Beckenham Town to coach the side alongside Julian Leigh, have both been given the opportunity to change the club's fortunes - for the short term at least.

With the side plummeting to fifth from bottom in the table after twenty league games, Logsdon revealed: 
"Certainly in the short term, Gary Davies, who came in to work with John will take the helm with Julian Leigh.

"For obvious reasons a full decision will need to be made as to the future.

"Gary has brought in three or four new players and has worked very well to assist John to improve the squad.

"So I think it's fair to say discussions will take place certainly in the next three to four days with all parties."

Logsdon, who stepped down as first team manager after he guided the club to eleventh place in their first season back in the league, thanked James for all his efforts.

He said: "From a personal note I would like to convey John for all his hard work.

"He and I have had their critics but John is an honest feller, he has worked hard both and on and off the field whilst in that position and I can't speak too highly off him as a person and I hope, as a friend.

"I think his whole heart has been in it and I'm really sorry things haven't worked out as we first hoped.

"It's a tough old environment at all levels of football, even in the Kent League.

"We need to try and keep in a steady course and any future movements will be announced in due course."

Davies and Leigh will take charge of Saturday's reserve team match against Lordswood at Greatness Park ahead of the more important clash with Ramsgate in the quarter finals of the Kent League Cup on the same ground on the 5th February.

Please credit the article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk