So. End of season. And Jamie Howell’s gone.
After an aspirin or two the promotion party hangover has eased and the management committee at Bognor Regis Town Football Club will be sitting around a table that would not look out of place at a charity shop.
At the forefront of the table will be head coach Darin ‘Dabba’ Killpartrick and also Jack Pearce, who probably had the table donated in 1940.
There’s a big decision to make and big boots to fill. And applications were not sought, Pearce revealed.
Howell’s sudden exit to Eastbourne Borough was, to many, a shock. Some see it as a sideways step to a team who Bognor will face next season. Jamie will see it as a ‘bigger’ club – and a club who can financially compete to an ambition to match his own.
Whatever Jamie decides, he’s done it for himself, his wife Carly and their children and we wish him all the best. He’s a football man and a good man and we’ll all be looking to see how he gets on.
With Dabba having ruled himself out of the managerial seat to stay as head coach, many supporters are bouncing names around for the hot-seat including my preferred choice of Jamie’s brother-in-law and Carly’s brother – Adam Hinshelwood. But he has since signed a three-year full-time contract to manage Hastings in Ryman division one south and their academy.
I’ve worked with Adam and we’ve shared many a car journey to the likes of Charlton Athletic and Exeter City on long journeys talking about football on our way to BBC coverage of Brighton & Hove Albion. Adam is a likeable lad, a great coach and from a footballing family and for me Adam for fitted the bill working alongside ‘Dabba’ and fits in with the club. But sadly this is not to be and the lure of a Hastings contract offer has also seen him quit his role as assistant coach to Brighton’s under-18s.
The club were said to have a shortlist of four people which I’d guess to include Miles Rutherford, David Wright, Steve King and not-to-be Hinshelwood.
The two favourites for the job I’d imagine are Wright and Rutherford. Miles worked wonders at Moneyfields bringing through players like his son Alfie and a certain Jason Prior. And I am led to believe he employs Mr Prior too. Interesting I hear you say… especially as Prior’s club (Havant & Waterlooville) have just signed yet another prolific striker in former Pompey man Matt Tubbs.
Wright is another former player held in high regard and has close links to Dabba. He can’t be dismissed from the betting and could be a name Dabba likes the sound of. He is rumoured to have applied for the job.
Mickey Birmingham is another name bandied about by supporters along with current centre-backs Gary Charman and Sami El-Abd. Burgess Hill assistant Stuart Tuck is another name mentioned.
Former Macclesfield, Lewes and Whitehawk boss Steve King has also been showing his face around Nyewood Lane in recent weeks but he’s usually worked at clubs with bigger budgets.
It’s a big decision but my gut feeling is Wright could be right and will be in the hot seat come pre-season.
If there was a local bookmaker’s taking on the betting, I’d imagine it would go something like this:
David Wright 3/1
Miles Rutherford 5/1
Steve King 8/1
Micky Birmingham 10/1
Stuart Tuck 12/1
El-Abd/Charman dream team 12/1
Jack Pearce 100/1
Ollie Pearce 500/1
Rocky ‘mascot’ Bear 1000/1
It’s a huge decision and one that needs to be a good fit.
by Dean Adams