Arsenal coach Simon Copley comes to Snodland Town: It was a case of the right job with the right chairman

Wednesday 03rd July 2019

SNODLAND TOWN have appointed Simon Copley as their new manager.


The 44-year-old, who is based in Dartford, is head coach of the under 14s at Premier League giants Arsenal and he has teamed up with his assistant manager Ian Varley to take charge of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division club.

The pair have replaced Simon Austin and Kane Rice, who quit the club last Sunday to take charge of National League South Maidstone United, where they will manage their under 23 development squad in the Suburban League Premier Division.

Copley and Varley were in charge of Glebe but were axed by the Chislehurst based club in April 2016 after finishing in third-place in the Kent Invicta League but celebrated winning the London Senior Trophy and Kent Invicta League Challenge Trophy at the end of that season.

Varley, a full-time coach at The Football Association, took charge of Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Holmesdale but after guiding the Bromley based club to a top-six finish during his first full season in charge, he lasted only 10 games into the following season before leaving the club in September 2017.

Snodland Town finished in the bottom four under Austin and Rice last season.  The pair were in charge of 21 games in all competitions, winning seven, drawing seven and losing seven and kept the club in the division.

Copley has revealed that the club retain their amateur status this coming season and the vacancy has come at the right time for all parties.

“Ian and I have always thrown around the idea of doing non-league management again but without any impact on our day-to-day stuff,” said Copley, a former coach at Dartford and West Ham United.

“My work at Arsenal is full on and I love youth development but it’s also nice to have that Saturday football experience playing for three points at some cracking little grounds throughout Kent.

“I’ve always kept one eye on non-league with so many friends in top jobs.  My good mate Jamie Coyle at Dartford, Mike Sandmann and Jay Saunders at Margate, Neil Smith at Bromley and my colleague Jamie Cureton at Bishop’s Stortford.

“Obviously, I couldn’t do that level and my role at Arsenal but the Southern Counties East Football League has always sat about right and it was a case of the right job with the right chairman.

“We met with Dave Jeal and had a really good normal football conversation and shared the same aims and it all clicked into place.

“It’s now a case of going through the little black book to see who wants to have another go with us at a brilliant little club with great potential.

“We will give Snodland the same professionalism we give to our day-to-day jobs and with the right players and a bit of time we’ll see what happens.

“The previous managers Simon Austin and Kane Rice have been held in high regard here with the level of professionalism they brought and I hope to use that as a platform to take things on further still.

“I have already spoken to Jamie Coyle and Hugo Langton at Welling United about taking on players if we need to but first we will retain the current squad and give them every opportunity to prove themselves first.  That will be fully respected.

“People who know me know I love to play football in an attractive and open way and we want players who will be willing to work hard and learn our style and weird and wonderful ways but overall to enjoy it.”

Snodland Town open their pre-season campaign with a home game at Paddlesworth Road against Isthmian South East Division side Hythe Town on Tuesday 9 July 2019.

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