Sevenoaks Town appoint Mark Dacey after boss Harry Hudson steps down to explore opportunities in professional football

Sunday 12th November 2023

SEVENOAKS TOWN chairman Paul Lansdale has appointed assistant manager Mark Dacey as his new manager today, following the shock departure of Harry Hudson, who has departed to explore opportunities in professional football.

The Oaks are in third-place in the eighth-tier Isthmian League South East Division table, having picked up 19 points (six wins, one draw and four defeats) and are five points adrift of league leaders Three Bridges.

Sevenoaks Town went down to a 1-0 defeat at home to Sheppey United in Hudson’s last game in charge of the club yesterday.

The former Croydon, Whyteleafe and Glebe manager has brought an eye catching attractive brand to football to the four clubs that he has managed.

Hudon has been working behind the scenes with the Sevenoaks Town board for several weeks to facilitate a seamless transition and put forward Dacey to replace him.

Hudson, who left Chislehurst based side Glebe to take over the hot-seat at Sevenoaks Town on Sunday 20 February 2022, said in a statement: “It has been a huge honour to manage this fantastic community football club.

“Earning 26 out of a possible 30 points when I first took over to secure Step Four status was an unbelievable achievement and we created memories during that run that will stay with me forever.

“Last season we made history in reaching the furthest the club has been in both The FA Cup and FA Trophy whilst also achieving the highest Step Four league position.

“The win away to Bath City was phenomenal and to earn the right to go toe-to-toe with Ebbsfleet in the next round was one of my most enjoyable matches I have ever managed.

“We currently sit in third place in the league without maximising the potential that the current squad has and I know that the club could not be in any better hands to now to go the next level.

“I would like to thank the board, especially Paul Lansdale, for their unwavering support throughout my tenure.  I truly believe I will never work under better people in football.

“Special mention to our fans with whom I have shared some fantastic memories and who contribute so much to the club.

“To the players, who have played under me in the Oaks shirt – thank you.

“Finally, to my staff who I have been lucky enough to work alongside and who do not always get the credit they deserve, a massive thank you.”

A club statement said:  “Harry Hudson has stepped away from his role to explore opportunities in professional football.

"The club would like to thank Harry for all his hard work and overall contribution to the whole club.

“We wish Harry every success as he continues his ambitions to coach at the highest level.  Thanks for the amazing memories, we will look forward to watching your progress.

“The club is delighted to announce that assistant manager Mark Dacey has stepped up to the position of first team manager and will be assisted by Junior James and Adam Flemming, along with the rest of the existing backroom staff of Danny Rose, Julian Leigh, Kevin Rawlinson and Carly Payne.”

Dacey, who was youth team manager at Cray Wanderers alongside Flemming, before coaching spells followed at Barking and Dulwich Hamlet, assisted Hudson at Glebe and Sevenoaks Town.

“I’m honoured to be passed the baton with massive shoes for me to fill. It’s a huge confidence boost that the chairman is happy for me to take over from Harry,” said Dacey.

“I will look at add my own stamp on to what Harry has already created. We want to continue to be a free-flowing attacking side who compete for the play-offs.

“I’ve got a great group of players and staff. We have enough in our changing room to help achieve our goals.

“I’m extremely grateful to have worked with Harry.  He’s becoming a lifelong friend and I’m proud that he’s finally taking an opportunity to explore different avenues of the game.

“He’s created a stable culture and philosophy at Sevenoaks, a massive credit to what he’s achieved in breaking club records in such a small period.

“There’s always a beer waiting for Harry, as well as Dan Hogan, who also departs for a great opportunity to spread his wings.  Another great coach and person that we will all miss around the place.”

Dacey’s first game in charge will be on Saturday 18 November (15:00) when fourteenth-placed Merstham are the visitors to Greatness Park.

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