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It’s all change at The Boots


Welling Town have announced their new Management Team, new home ground, and some new players, ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Chairman Kevin Oakes will return to the dugout, has brought in Blaine Horne, Joe Ford and Alex Warner to assistant and they will now call The Bauvill Stadium, Chatham, home.

Kevin released this statement on the Club Website.

I’m delighted to welcome back Blaine Horne to the club who has recently been managing successfully in the Kent County League with Metrogas. As Blaine outlines below, he’s done every role there is in recent years and was with the club from the day it started in Saturday football in 2016 so I know his personality and skills well and trust him and his opinions entirely. His rapid progress personally is to his credit and it’s rare you’ll find anyone who has worked with him say anything other than positives and that he is deserving of his success.

We also welcome Joe Ford as Head Coach. I don’t think anyone could have experienced more personal tragedy in recent years, but the challenges as a result have made him an even stronger character than he already was. UEFA B qualified and with experience in the dugout at Erith Town, Phoenix Sports, Erith and Belvedere, Cray Valley and SC Thamesmead, he’s managed and coached at this level and above for some time, as well as running his own successful coaching company day-to-day. This gives him a vast array of experience and contacts far and wide at all levels locally and will be hugely beneficial to both Blaine and I.

Last but certainly not least, Alex Warner, who runs one of the largest youth development companies in this country for this age section and puts a real onus on player development, enjoyment and maximising potential. Alex will be well known to anyone locally with children who have played football under his umbrella.

Blaine added “I’m very excited to have been given the opportunity to return to Welling Town as the assistant manager working alongside Kev and the rest of the management team. The club means a massive amount to me personally as I started out there as a player six years ago in the Saturday sides debut season in the Kent County League and went on to spend spells as the reserve team manager and 1st team coach. After leaving i was always a Welling Town fan and knew that one day there would be a homecoming. I’m delighted to say that day is now.

The hard graft and planning is well underway to make sure the clubs ambitions are met on and off the pitch. Targets have been set and we’re all looking forward to putting in the work to make sure we reach them come the end of the season.”

Joe Ford joins the club as Head Coach and added, “I’m delighted to be back in football after agreeing over the weekend to join Welling Town FC as part of the management team for the 2022/23 season. After speaking to Kevin in detail about the clubs ambitions, his plans for the coming season and beyond and the role that I will play within the new set up, I was really excited and just felt that it was too good of an opportunity to turn down.

I’ve known Kevin for a number of years through football and also work and we have always got on well. I know Kevin feels he has some unfinished business as a manager after his last tenure didn’t go as planned for various reasons during curtailed seasons and I will be working with him closely to support him in any way I can. I’m looking forward to sitting down as a management team and adding to the pre-season schedule already in place and then getting to work on the training pitch. For a club that is only 6 years old they have done extremely well to get to and hold their own in the SCEFL leagues with teams that have been around a lot longer and we’ll continue that good work and enjoy it along the way!”

and finally, Alex … “I’m delighted to be involved in a progressive club like Welling Town surrounded by good people who made it an easy decision to join and make my first step into adult football after 20 years working in youth development in the local area.

It’s clear we all share the same ethos of player development and that was a big pull to attract me to this seasons coaching team and to work towards the plan that was presented to me and to learn from Kevin, Blaine and Joe who all have worked in the senior game for many years.

I’m looking forward to bringing my coaching methods and ideas into Welling Town and seeing what we can achieve for the 2022/23 season.”

Following a season sharing with Kent Football United, Welling now move to Chatham.

Ahead of the new 2022/23 season we’re delighted to announce that we’ve signed an agreement to ground share at The Bauvill Stadium – home of Chatham Town.

We’re extremely grateful to Chatham Town Chairman Kevin Hake and his colleagues for allowing us to use the venue for a few SCEFL Premier division games towards the end of last season, and that we can look forward to enjoying their excellent facilities and hospitality more regularly in the season ahead.

Further announcements regarding home friendlies during July will be announced in due course – including one against our new landlords.

News on season tickets and groundhopper multi-buy passes will be issued in the coming days with an early bird offer included for those acquiring before mid-June.

Welling Town followed up with the above news by releasing the names of early additions into their 2022/23 season squad.

Former Phoenix Sports midfielders Zak Bryon and George Whitelock were the first players confirmed, added to by the return of Luis Montoya to the club and the signing of centre-back Michael Fenn. Experienced defender John Foster arrives from Holmesdale.

The new season is due to get underway on Saturday 30th July.