I could not ignore the opportunity to manage Conference Premier side Welling United, says Jody Brown
Brown, 35, parted company with Ryman Premier League side Grays Athletic following their 1-0 defeat at Wingate & Finchley today to become Jamie Day’s successor at Park View Road.
Day, Barry Ashby and Dean Frost all decided to drop down a division to take charge of Vanarama Conference South side Ebbsfleet United.
The club unveiled the news following their 3-1 home win over Aldershot Town today, a result that puts Welling United in sixteenth-place in the Vanarama Conference table with 32 points (eight wins and eight draws) from 26 league games.
The Wings are nine points clear of the relegation zone.
“The board of Welling United are delighted to announce the appointment of Jody Brown as the new first team manager on a permanent basis,” said a club statement, which was posted on their website.
“Jody joins us having previously been manager of Grays Athletic this season.
“Having lost the services of Jamie Day and his backroom staff, the club has embarked on an extensive search for a suitable replacement.
“The position has attracted a large number of applications from which the club drew up a shortlist and having completed interviews earlier this week the board reached the decision that Jody was best suited to deliver the progression that the club seek, being to ultimately challenge for promotion to the Football League.
“Despite his young age, Jody has extensive coaching and managerial experience with both the professional game and at non-league level.
“He has coached at Arsenal, Norwich City and Colchester United’s academies, during which time he has built up a wealth of contacts, so vital in this day and age at our level in the football pyramid.
“Crucially, though, the board were impressed by this determination and year on year success plying his trade the hard way in non-league football.”
Brown began in the Eastern Counties League with Tiptree United where his team finished sixth and third, breaking the league goals record in the process.
After Tiptree, Brown managed Halstead Town where he helped build their own full-time academy and only missed out on promotion twice on goal difference, before he progressed to the Ryman League Division One North with Redbridge.
They were in a relegation battle upon Brown’s arrival, having secured only nine points from 22 games, but he gained 36 points in the next 22 games to steer them well clear of relegation and they also reached the FA Cup second round during his time there, conceding only one goal in the first six rounds.
No team under Brown’s guidance for a full season have finished outside of the top six - and he is a licensed UEFA coach with a BSc degree in Sports Science.
Following a successful spell at Heybridge Swifts, Brown was appointed by Ryman Premier League side Grays Athletic in the summer of 2014 where having taken over at the helm with the club which had won only one game in 13 at the tail end of the 2013-14 season - and without a permanent ground - he has steered them to mid-table safety this campaign.
Welling’s chief executive Barrie Hobbins said: “In Jody, the board were unanimous in their view that we have an ambitious, young and hungry manager who has earned his spurs over the last ten years plus coaching and managing both at Academies and steadily rising through the non-leagues.
“He impressed us with his desire and passion to manage at this level and he shares our belief that whilst the realities of Welling United are that we do not have a big budget, this need not be a bar to organic progression.
“We have carried out extensive due diligence and sought input from a number of people in the game whose opinions we respect and players who Jody has managed and we are confident that we have attracted a top up-and-coming manager in Jody.
“We are delighted he has accepted our offer to join Welling United.”
Brown added: “I do wish to place on record my thanks to Grays Athletic and I am sorry to be leaving them so soon after starting the project there, but the opportunity to step up to management in the Conference Premier was one I could not ignore.“I have been working towards this goal for sometime and I cannot wait to get started. I am delighted and grateful for the trust and confidence shown in me by the Welling United board.”
The Wings can confirm that their new manager will be meeting the players prior to Tuesday night’s home FA Trophy First Round Replay against Ebbsfleet United, although his first game in charge will not be until the Boxing Day trip to Dover Athletic.
Caretakers Jake Gallagher and Jamie Turner will continue to be in charge for the Ebbsfleet United game.
The statement concluded: “A further announcement will be made in due course regarding Jody’s backroom team.”
Meanwhile, Grays Athletic have confirmed that Andy Swallow has been appointed caretaker manager until they appoint Brown’s replacement in January.
Grays Athletic are in fifteenth-place in the Ryman Premier League table with 30 points (nine wins, three draws) from 22 games and are six points clear of the relegation zone.
Visit Welling United’s website: www.wellingunited.com
Welling United v Ebbsfleet United
The FA Trophy First Round Replay
Tuesday 23rd December 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY