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Townsend takes up the reins

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2014 10:57am
Southam, Stratford-on-Avon
By David Hucker
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Former player Quentin Townsend has been appointed as Southam United's new first team manager for next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Former player Quentin Townsend has been appointed as Southam United's new first team manager for next season.

Townsend is known as a tough, no-nonsense central defender with spells at Wolves and Hereford on a CV that is packed with experience from a non-league playing career spanning 20 years. Although this will be his first managerial role, Saints chairman Charles Hill will be hoping that Townsend brings the same winning attitude to the dugout as he displayed during his time as a player. 

“From a number of viable applications, two stood out at the interviews I have been conducting over the past few days” said Hill. 

“It has been a very close and difficult decision, but I believe Quentin is the right man to take us forward and will prove himself a successful manager.” 

Townsend made 73 appearances for Saints over three seasons after being signed by Luke Fogarty from Massey Ferguson. He left in 2012/13 to join Pershore Town. 

“I have learned a great deal from many different coaches and managers I played for” said Townsend.

“I now believe the time is right for me to make the step up into management. What better place to start than at a club that I hold dear to my heart and where I enjoyed great times in the past.” 

Townsend will have Ian Ray as assistant manager/head coach and is keen to continue the youth development that has seen a number of young players graduate to the first team. 

“After meeting Ian, it is very apparent that he, I and, more importantly, the club share the same values, tactics and vision for the future of Southam United.” 

It has been a difficult time for Saints of late to say the least and the 2-0 defeat to Stafford Town was their fifth in a row since the departure of manager Lee Knibbs, who was followed through the door by many of the first team squad after they were knocked out of the Coventry Telegraph Challenge Cup by Coventry Copsewood. 

This left a mainly inexperienced group, many of whom are still playing for the youth team, to complete the season’s fixtures and it has been a baptism of fire. When Jordan Hiscox came on for Joe Williams against Stafford, he became the 12th player to make his first team debut in just three weeks. 

With no recognised central defender, Saints lost 4-1 to bottom club Pilkington XXX and then succumbed to free-scoring Bromsgrove Sporting when experienced striker Mark Bellingham gave stand-in defender Williams a torrid time, scoring five goals in a 10-0 win. 

The return of Simon Hicks and the addition of Josh Turton and former Racing Club Warwick player Tom Cooper shored up the defence at Atherstone Town when Saints held out for 50 minutes, before going down 3-0. 

Full back Marc Passey returned to the side after injury against Stafford Town, but lasted just five minutes and is now out for the rest of the season. Lee Thomas is still recovering from a broken wrist and Saints are also missing the attacking verve of Robbie Stephens. 

Townsend will need to add some more experience to the squad to help the talented youngsters nurtured through the academy and youth system by Ray. Their resilience in the face of adversity has been commendable but, whilst some such as Ben Tennant and Danny Wylde already had first team experience under their belts, for many the step up has come too soon and they need more time to develop. 

Saints are without a match this weekend, but take on Pershore Town at Banbury Road on Tuesday (7.45pm). Whilst the manager will be watching from the stands to run his eye over his new charges, he won't take over officially until pre-season training on 1 July.

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