Our supporters should see Mark Stimson's arrival on an 18 month contract as a clear indication of our ambition, says Margate chairman Ricky Owen

Wednesday 06th December 2023

MARGATE chairman Ricky Owen has pulled off a managerial coup by enticing Mark Stimson to Hartsdown Park on an eighteen-month contract.

Stimson, 55, has enjoyed an esteemed career to date, including winning The FA Trophy four times, twice at Grays Athletic and once each at Stevenage Borough and most recently at Hornchurch in 2021.

As well as his time in non-league football, Stimson has also managed in the Football League where he took Gillingham to League One via the League Two play-offs.  Stimson has also managed in the Football League with Barnet.

During his playing career, Stimson started his career with Tottenham Hotspur, before making over 80 appearances for Newcastle United.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark to the club. He was our main target from day one,” said Owen in a statement.

“With the exception of the Kent Senior Cup victory, the last 15 months on the pitch have been frustrating.  We have never found the consistency needed to push up the table.  When things are disappointing on the pitch, progress in other areas can be ignored.

“But the club has transformed in the last six years, the installation of the 3G pitch, fantastic new changing rooms and let’s not forget the purchase of the freehold to secure our home.

“Off the pitch the club has gone from strength to strength – commercially improved, established an academy, the community trust is active once again and we have a thriving youth set up.

“With the appointment of an experienced manager, with an impressive CV, we hope our fortunes on the pitch will now change.

“Of course, Mark needs some time but our supporters should see his arrival as a clear indication of our ambition.”

The former Grays Athletic, Stevenage Borough, Gillingham, Barnet, Kettering Town, Thurrock, Waltham Abbey, Hornchurch and Grays Athletic (second spell) boss, replaces Reece Prestedge, who parted company with the club on Sunday.

Margate welcome Carshalton Athletic to Hartsdown Park on Saturday (15:00), sitting in seventeenth-place (bottom seven) with 19 points (five wins, four draws and nine defeats) from their 18 games.

The Kent coastal club are just a point clear of the relegation zone and are currently on a eight-match winless run.

Ben Greenhalgh and Elliott Leveson took charge of Margate's 3-1 defeat away to Isthmian League Premier Division side Whitehawk in the Velocity Cup Third Round last night.

Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk