Liam Giles to leave Croydon next week with a heavy heart after ultimately not getting the club promoted back to Step Five

Friday 15th April 2022

CROYDON manager Liam Giles says he will leave the club at the end of next week after failing to win promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

The Trams went down to a 3-1 defeat to Greenways at Cobdown this afternoon (Good Friday), a result that has the club languishing in seventh-place in the table, with 57 points (17 wins, six draws and 13 defeats).

Stansfeld, jointly-managed by Billy Hamlin and Jamie Phipps, celebrated winning the title with a 1-0 win over Larkfield & New Hythe on Wednesday night.

Stansfeld have banked 84 points from their 36 league games and the play-off places contain Sutton Athletic (72 points from 35 games), Larkfield & New Hythe (70 points from 36), Snodland Town (65 points from 35) and Bridon Ropes (62 points from 36).

Tooting Bec may snatch a place in the maiden play-offs as Matthew Hancock’s side are a point behind with a game in hand.

“It is with a heavy heart that after three years and 99 games to date I have decided to step down as first-team manager at the end of the season,” said Giles.

“I was brought in to try and steady a sinking ship and bring stability on the field.  I feel I have achieved that and much more off the field but ultimately, I am disappointed not to get the club promoted back to Step Five.

“It’s been a tough three years with Covid and working for 18 months without a chairman has been challenging.  However, in the last six months Gavin English has come in as chairman and I feel the club is now in the position off the field to kick on.  There is a real committed and ambitious board in place, the club is in good hands.

“I would like to thank John Gladwin, my loyal assistant, who has been there from day one and the rest of my management team. 

“A big thank you to the supporters who I have built a great bond with and through think and thin have backed me and my team.

“Without Liam and Tony Blencowe the club would not be the same.  They have supported us financially and given us so much support and become life-long friends.

“Lastly, thank you to the newly-formed board for supporting me and trusting me to take the club forward, but for now it’s time to step away and seek a new challenge.

“Croydon will always be in my heart and the sleeping giant will rise again.”

Westside visit Croydon Sports Arena on Easter Monday, before the Trams complete their disappointing campaign at Meridian VP on Saturday 23 April.

Croydon lost their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division status in 2019 and two seasons were lost through the Covid-19 health pandemic and Giles couldn’t get the club involved in the promotion picture this season.

The club used to lock horns regularly with the likes of Sutton United (now in League Two), Bromley (National League) and Dulwich Hamlet (National League South) in the Isthmian League but while Croydon's neighbouring club's have flourished in recent years, Croydon will remain in the tenth-tier of English football next season, with an entire new management team.