Premier Division

Welling Town announce new Management Team


Welling Town have announced a new Management Team, a day after Kevin Oakes revealed he was stepping away from the role.

‘The Boots’ have brought in former Hullbridge Sports boss Darren Manning as their new gaffer.

Oakes, revealed the appointment this evening.

“Darren, and assistant James Wakeling, join us having recently ended a four year spell at Hullbridge Sports in Essex where they masterminded their rise from the bottom of the Essex Senior League (Step 5) in late 2017 to the league title within 18 months at the end of the last full season 2018/19. Prior to that Darren had been assistant manager at Grays Athletic.

“Since then they have been managing them in the Isthmian Division One North (Step 4), the highest level Hullbridge have ever played at.

“As well as on field success, they have experienced and assisted with the growth of the club on and off the field and with our clubs brief history compared to most, both of these points were of equal importance to us all as we look to continue our growth and upwards movement.

“Darren and James will be joined by player/coach Kwabs Osei and assistant coach Ryan Madder.”



The Chairman and Club founder, Oakes, told yesterday of his decision to step away.

“This evening I have made the difficult decision to step down as manager of the club, something I have been considering for a while,” said Oakes, who has lost his last three games in all competitions.

“I am sure anyone stepping down from a position they care a lot about would do so with a heavy heart, but when it is a club you helped form and assisted in its progression from park football to the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division, it is even harder, but all the same, what I believe is the right thing to do for the better of the club.

“Any football manager at any level will know that it is pretty much a full-time job trying to manage a football team, but to run a club from top to bottom on and off the field is becoming just too much with the increasing time restraints and pressures of running my other businesses and trying to look after my young family. There are only so many hours in the day.

“Being unable to give complete and utter 100% focus to on field matters means I feel a frustration that I am letting myself down and undoing good work of those in the past and therefore letting my colleagues down too.

“Ultimately this then means I cannot always give the players the care and attention they need and deserve and it would not be fair or proper for me to expect 100% from them if I cannot provide them with what they need in order to help them do so.

“I’m 100% committed to the club, it’s all I do other than work and no one will dedicate more time and effort to its continued success than myself.

“We’ve had some very exciting times since we started in Saturday football only five years ago and we’re not stopping here.

“The ongoing plans for the future for the few that know them are something that I’m happy to commit all my time and energy too, as I’ll now be able to.

“We’ve had some very good people at this club in our short history, past and present, players and management and we will do again.

“My apologies to the current and recent group that I have not been able to provide more of them with what they need.

“To the current players, as I am sure the older and wiser ones will know, a change of management will of course bring changes of opinions and some personnel, but I would be extremely disappointed if wholesale changes were made or needed, as we do genuinely have a fine group of people, players and characters that made being a part of a football club everything it should be win, lose or draw.

“To the outgoing staff, I thank you sincerely for your time and efforts whilst supporting me. I only wish we could have achieved more and I wish you nothing but the best for the future in all you do, football and otherwise.

“In the short term, I look forward to returning to what I hope I’ve proven over the years to be what I do best, making this club bigger, better and moving higher up the leagues, with more time and renewed enthusiasm, and I’ll leave the rest to someone else.”

Welling host Erith Town at the Efes Stadium on Tuesday night.