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Home arrow Ryman Football League News arrow Sacking my best mate is the hardest decision that I've ever had to make in my life - Gary Hillman
Saturday, 20 December 2014
Sacking my best mate is the hardest decision that I've ever had to make in my life - Gary Hillman PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 September 2013

CRAY WANDERERS chairman Gary Hillman says sacking long-serving manager Ian Jenkins was the hardest decision that he’s ever had to make in his life.

Jenkins has been with the club for 23 years, fourteen years’ as manager and won two promotions in that time, taking the club from the Kent League to the Ryman Premier League whilst playing at Bromley’s Hayes Lane ground.

However, The Wands are rooted to the foot of the Ryman Premier League with four points from eleven games and have been on the end of a few thrashings this season and have leaked 42 league goals already this season.

The club were knocked out of The FA Cup by Faversham Town, who won 3-0 at Hayes Lane in the First Qualifying Round and Jenkins’ last game in charge was their 4-0 defeat at Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday night.

Pre-season budget cuts following the loss of one of the club’s two major backers saw a loss of experienced players and Jenkins had to throw in many youngsters in his squad and they struggled to cope with the demands of Ryman Premier League football and the chairman confirmed in his statement that Jenkins was working with a zero playing budget.

Mr Hillman issued a statement on the club’s website this morning, although it is believed by sources that Jenkins parted company with his beloved club yesterday.

“To say that it’s been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life is a bit of an understatement,” said Mr Hillman.

Mr Hillman, who will have been chairman of the club for 20 years in January, added: “He is the most passionate man I know about the club and my best mate.

“I still believe he’s the best manager in the Ryman Premier League but he has become a victim of the recent circumstances which were out of his control.

“Ever since London Borough of Bromley refused our planning application for our new ground last September there has been an atmosphere of doom and gloom around the club. 

“This has resulted in sponsors pulling out, staff leaving, gates and income down and left Jenko with no playing budget.”

Mr Hillman added: “Things have just gone from bad to worse over the last couple of weeks and really couldn’t see us getting out of this mess unless something changed.

“We will be putting in another planning application soon and it’s vital that the atmosphere changes and we can get back to winning ways and hopefully a new management team will do this.

“We need to be much stronger off the pitch as well as on and this will be a key factor in appointing a new management team.

“We hope to be making a further announcement in the next 24 hours.”

Meanwhile, sources claim that Keith Bird and Michael Paye, who run the reserve side at landlords Bromley are to take over from Jenkins.

If that’s the case then the pair’s first game in charge will ironically be against Bromley in the Kent Senior Cup Second Round next Tuesday evening, subject to Bromley’s FA Cup Second Qualifying Round result against Burgess Hill Town at Hayes Lane today.

Visit Cray Wanderers’ website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/craywands
Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 September 2013 )
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