When Luther Blissett was first shown Gifton Noel-Williams’ CV he knew immediately Burnham must get the former Watford striker in to interview.
Noel-Williams, a former Hornets’ favourite – whose goals carried the side into the Premier League in the late 1990s, was in Blissett’s eyes the ‘standout candidate’ to take over the position from Dave Tuttle.
He impressed chairman Gary Reeves – as well as the Burnham board – at interview and they swiftly came to the conclusion he was the right man to bring an end to the club’s dire run of form and get them moving in the right direction again.
His experience might be on the light side, having managed Northwood’s u18s and reserve side and taken on coaching roles at the Westfield Academy School in Watford following his retirement, but the former Hornet – who runs the GNW Football Academy in Watford – has the ‘right experience’ according to Blissett.
“The chairman told me about a CV he’d received and said it was from Gifton. I asked him to send it to me so I could take a look and when I saw it I rang him back straight away to say we should get him in,” said Blissett.
“It was the best CV and stood out from the others we had on the shortlist. He’s shown in his previous roles that ability to develop players and I think he understands where we are coming from.
“He’ll be a first team manager that brings young players through the ranks and can develop these players. He understands that those players are the future and need to be brought through.
“That’s important at a club that’s not flushed with money because you can create your own supply line of players who are part of what the club is about from a young age.”
Blissett confirmed Noel-Williams would take charge of first team matters, but has said he will lend advice and support him when he can. He hopes Gifton – who has called Blissett his mentor - will be the perfect fit for the club in much need of a spark.
The new manager watched from the stands as the Blues were beaten 2-1 by Oxford City Nomads on Tuesday. Ibe Bangura, one of several new signings got Burnham’s only goal but by then Rash Dawood’s first half double had already given the home side too steep a mountain to climb.
It was a 15th straight defeat this season for Burnham, but there’s fresh impetus there now following Tuttle’s departure – and the removal of players loyal to the former Tottenham man – and, with the changes made to the squad over recent weeks, the club is in a much better position to start turning these narrow losses into draws and wins.
“There’s no one thing that’s led to this improvement, but the attitude from the players is now what we desire,” said Blissett.
“The reaction of the players over the past three matches has been fantastic.
“It’s now clear they want to be involved in what we’re doing here and in what we’re attempting to build.
“They want to play football and want to be coached by myself and Gifton to improve their careers.”
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