NEW boss Tommy Wright says it is an ‘exciting time’ to be joining Stratford Town.
The former Darlington, Nuneaton Town and Corby Town manager has replaced Thomas Baillie as boss, with Paul Davis and Steve Walker remaining with the club as assistant manager and first-team coach.
Wright, whose playing career included spells at Leicester City, Brentford, Walsall and Aberdeen, says the club’s plans for the future to build on last term’s highest-ever league position of fifth in Southern Premier Central, plus developing the academy, were big pulling points.
“After conversations with the Stratford Town board over the last week or so it was clear we shared a lot in common and I was sold on the ambitious plans moving forward,” Wright told the club’s website.
“I would also like to praise Paul Davis and Steve Walker for the roles they have played in me joining the club, but also the work they have done with the pre-season programme and fulfilling the caretaker role in general.
“This is an exciting project, especially with the Stratford Town Academy already in place and rapidly growing and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the club.
“I share the same vision of promoting youth and I will be working closely with the academy programme.
“The young lads have a genuine chance with me if they apply themselves in the correct way. I have handed out more than 40 first team debuts to 16 to 18-year-olds in my six years as a manager, as well as moving four players on to professional clubs and creating three England C internationals.”
While Town top scorer Mike Taylor has followed playmaker Will Grocott in switching to Stourbridge and forward Nabil Shariff has left to join Banbury United, Wright says he will be inheriting a squad with plenty of ability.
Midfield kingpin Albi Skendi has given Town a big boost by confirming he will be staying.
Wright steered Corby to the Southern League Premier Division title in 2015, then joined Nuneaton for the 2016/17 campaign and has spent the last two seasons with Darlington in National League North.
“Of course I have player targets in mind, but I also believe I am walking into a squad that has a lot of quality in it,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working with the lads and believe they will enjoy working with me.
“I will be speaking with the playing staff over the coming days and, although some have already decided to move on, I look looking forward to sharing my thoughts and talking about the exciting future the club has and hope to convince them Stratford Town is where they should remain.”
Town have arranged a meet the manager event on Thursday, June 20 at the club. It starts at 7.30pm and all fans are invited to take part in the Q&A session with Wright and club director Mark Bickley.