Former Lordswood manager Neil Hunter drops three levels to take charge of Danson Sports while Blaine Horne leaves league rivals Metrogas

Friday 13th May 2022

DANSON SPORTS have appointed Neil Hunter as their new manager.

The Crayford-based outfit finished third-from-bottom in the Kent County League Division One West table during the 2021-22 season, collecting six wins and six draws from their 26 games.

Hunter was in charge of Lordswood in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division but stepped down from the role on 16 December after losing 28 of his 41 games in all competitions while in charge of the Medway side.

Richard Dimmock took over the reins and Lordswood finished second-from-bottom in the table with 24 points from 38 games but have been reprieved from relegation.

Hunter has today taken over at Danson Sports – who play three levels lower than Lordswood.

“This is a fantastic appointment for the club and our ambitions for our first team over the next few years as we try to work our way up the leagues to become a Step Six club,” said a Danson Sports statement.

“After an interview with Neil it was immediately obvious that he was the man for the job.

“His ambition matched our ambition as a club and with Neil’s array of knowledge and experience our clubs infrastructure it was a no brainer for us to appoint Neil.

“Neil’s experience at previous clubs, Lordswood, Punjab United, Fisher and Beckenham Town in management roles and also his experience in youth football as a player in his early days at youth level means he exactly matches what Danson Sports are about and what we have built since we were founded in 2005.

“We are one of the biggest clubs in the South East with around 60 youth teams and looking forward to pursuing our first team ambition to match our youth infrastructure and creating pathways for our youth players to aspire to.   We can’t wait to get started.”

Meanwhile, Kent County League Division One West rivals Metrogas begin the search for a new manager after Blaine Horne stepped down from the role.

Horne took over the role last June following two seasons at the club as coach and assistant manager.

Metrogas – who play at Bayliss Avenue in Thamesmead – finished in sixth-place in the table.

Club secretary Tim Morgan said in a statement: “Everyone at Metrogas would like to thank Blaine for all his hard work and commitment over the last three seasons and especially this past season as manager.

“Since his first day at the club he has been nothing but completely dedicated and professional.

“He agreed to take on the manager’s role at short notice last year and this is something I will forever be grateful for.  Everyone at the club wishes him well with his next endeavour.”

Horne said: “Can honestly say it’s been the greatest honour in my football career to be given the opportunity to manage Metrogas.

“From the first day until the last I was surrounded by some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting in the game – but the time was right to move on.

“I will forever be one of the biggest Metrogas fans out there and will always watch on excited to see the club progress to the heights it truly belongs at.  Massive thank you to Tim for putting his trust in me and he will be a friend for life.

“Finally, a massive thank you to all my coaching team, players’ past and present, reserves set-up and everyone who helped make my time at the club special.

“I’m massively excited for the next challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

Meanwhile, Ricky Tompkins, has left Premier Division side Tudor Sports, after a bottom-four finish.

"After money discussions and having to put too much money in, I will be leaving Tudor," said the former Otford United manager.

"Gutted, but gave it my all this year and achieved well, considering there was not one player left when I joined.

"It takes time to build - but excited to see what new opportunities will arise."