Posted: 13.04.20 at 20:07 by The Editor
TROUBLED East Thurrock United, whose future remains uncertain, have nevertheless appointed a new manager for the next season - though it is not yet clear in which division the club will be playing.
The Isthmian Premier club were in mid table last season, having slipped away from the play-off race before the season was curtailed because of coronavirus.
Long-serving manager John Coventry and his backroom staff, including chairman Brian Mansbridge, had already indicated they would stand down at the end of the season and since then the club has appointed a new chairman, Steve Wiseman, and secretary Steve Robinson.
Coventry had spoken of the 'horrendous' financial situation at the club as its owners, the Bennett family, tried to broker a deal to sell the club's ground.
At a recent public meeting, a spokesperson for the club - Colin McBride - told fans a deal was close to being completed and that £2 million would be pumped into the club to secure its future and finance a new ground. He did hint that the club might have to drop at least one division in the non-league pyramid, and possibly two - to join the Esssex Senior League.
Today (Monday, 13 April) the club announced that Paul Martin has been appointed manager and he will be assisted by Mark Lord, with Danny Cossington as player-coach.
Martin has worked wonders over several years as manager of homeless Romford, keeping the club afloat with virtually no budget for several years. He was unceremoniously sacked when millionaire Glenn Tamplin bought the Borough a couple of months into the season.
Lord and Cossington also left Romford, with Cossington joining East Thurrock and impressing in the last few weeks of the campaign before a halt was called.
Martin says: "First and foremost there are no words to describe what John Coventry has achieved at this club, he is a close friend of mine and It’s an honour to be succeeding such a manager.
"I would like to thank the new club officials for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic club.
"I'm really looking forward to working with the new committee, the youth teams and managers, meeting the loyal fan base, and meeting any challenges which may lie ahead.
"Hopefully we can all meet up as soon as possible, once the current pandemic has passed. In the meantime, stay safe everyone."
Lord also has connections with East Thurrock, having played for the club in the early nineties.