Sheppey United appoint Jack Midson as player-manager after announcing that quadruple winning manager Ernie Batten moves upstairs to become director of football at Holm Park

Tuesday 02nd August 2022

SHEPPEY UNITED have announced that quadruple winning manager Ernie Batten has been appointed director of football while player-coach Jack Midson, 38, has been appointed player-manager.

Batten guided the club to an unique quadruple of trophies last season, claiming the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title, claiming and then retaining the Kent Senior Trophy and beating Crowborough Athletic to land the Challenge Cup.

Midson will take charge of his first game when Sheppey United travel to play Athletic Newham in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday, before making their Isthmian League South East Division debut when Chichester City travel to Holm Park on Saturday 13 August.

Assistant manager Marcel Nimani stepped down at the weekend, explaining his reasons for his departure, stating that a recent development at the club did not represent his views.

“I have been speaking to my family about this move for a while now and coupled with some family business I felt now was the right time to join Matt (Smith) in the boardroom,” Batten said in a club statement.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as first team manager and hopefully like me you have enjoyed the journey we have been on over this past six years, with a few trophies thrown in along the way.

“I will not be a stranger at the club and will support the new manager as he comes into this fantastic club.

“I have mixed emotions about this move and whilst it’s needed to enable me to dedicate more time to my personal life, I am also excited about being involved in the development of our very own overarching football plan for the future of Sheppey United FC from youth to first team.”

Joint-chairman Matthew Smith added: “I am lost for superlatives when describing Ernie’s time as first team manager here, from walking into a team that all left at Step Six to lifting the league title last season at Step Five, his vast experience of non-league football has enabled this club to fulfil its ambition and beyond.

“When Ernie and I first spoke we dreamt of being in the old Kent League yet here we are today about to embark on our inaugural season in the Isthmian League, an achievement both Ernie and I still just look at each other and smile about.

“All of this was down to Ernie and the coaching staff and players he brought to the club.

“Ernie should have been given the keys to the island for the trophy haul he netted last season but alas he has decided that the time is now right for him to join me in the boardroom as our director of football.

“I know, like me, you supporters will be shocked by the timing but the new player-manager has been working alongside Ernie now for a while and in Jack Midson we have the perfect replacement for Ernie, with almost identical playing philosophies.

“I know Jack will never be able to have the effect on the club Ernie has, however, I feel confident that Jack will create his own memories for us all at the club.

“I would like to go on record one last time and say thank you to Ernie not only personally for everyone but for creating so many memories along the way in his past six years of working together as chairman and first team manager.

“From laughing at being 12 points off top spot in September 2015 to winning promotion and the Kent Senior Trophy that very same season and then the obligatory celebratory trip to Dubai and Thailand with our families straight after.  Fantastic memories that were actually topped again last season with what we achieved for the entire island by bringing a Step Five league title home for the first time in 27 years.”

Midson, meanwhile, was player-assistant manager under Sammy Moore (the current manager at Isthmian League Premier Division side Potters Bar Town) at Leatherhead, Concord Rangers and Hemel Hempstead Town during the last five years.

Striker Midson has played for clubs at various levels of football, including at Oxford United, Southend United, Barnet and AFC Wimbledon in League Two, playing in the National League, National League South, Isthmian League Premier Division, Southern League Premier Division, Isthmian League First Division and Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division (the ninth-tier of English football) at Sheppey United.

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