Burnham FC have announced that Gifton Noel-Williams, the former Watford striker, is to be their new manager.
Announcing his arrival on BBC Three Counties Radio yesterday (Monday), the club’s football development manager Luther Blissett said the former Hornet, who also had spells with Stoke City and Burnley, would take over as permanent manager from Dave Tuttle, who quit the role last month.
Blissett, and Paul Toms, have been taking temporary charge of the club in the interim. It remains to be seen whether Blissett and Toms will continue to assist Noel-Williams as first team coaches.
Noel-Williams, who top scored for the Hornets during their promotion season to the Premier League in 1998-99, faces a huge challenge to turn around the Blues with relatively little managerial experience.
Having retired from the game Noel-Williams – who runs the GNW Football Academy in Watford – has worked as a coach at the Westfield Academy School in Watford before being appointed Northwood’s u18s and reserves manager in June, stepping down to take on the role at The Gore.
His first task will be to change the losing culture that has cloaked the club in recent months. Relegated from the Southern League South & West Division last season, after a horrendous run of form, the Blues have lost each of their 11 Hellenic Premier Division fixtures this season as well as three cup ties.
In the last couple of weeks, following the addition of a number of new signings, including Ibe Bangura and Stephane Akmel, the Blues have taken a small step in the right direction, only losing narrowly to Brackley Town Saints in the league, and bowing out of the FA Vase at home to Highmoor Ibis in extra-time on Saturday.
Noel-Williams’ first match in charge is against Oxford City Nomads at The Gore this evening (Tuesday).
Blissett said on Twitter yesterday: “Great to introduce the new Burnham FC 1st team manager, Watford FC golden boy Gifton Noel-Williams.” Blissett went on to praise Burnham chairman Gary Reeves for his vision: “Massive credit to Gary Reeves, whose vision and judgement have kept the club going forwards #stillwerise”
Noel-Williams, added: “Excited to get going with Burnham FC, especially working with my mentor Luther.”
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