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Burnham FC appoint club captain Ashleigh James as new manager following Paul Shone's departure

Burnham FC have announced Blues skipper Ashleigh James as their new manager for the 2020/21 Hellenic Premier Division season.

The midfielder agreed to step into the hotseat after Paul Shone left the Blues earlier this summer due to work commitments. In the two seasons Shone had the reins at Burnham, he guided the club to promotion from the Hellenic League Division One East and established it as a dominant force in the Premier Division.

James was captain under Shone’s management but will now be operating as a player-manager for the Blues in the upcoming campaign. The 29-year-old said the opportunity to make the step up was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“It’s been a crazy 72 hours,” said James. “I’m so overwhelmed and excited for this test.”

“It wasn’t something I was looking to do in this moment in time but it was always something at the back of my mind. Obviously when the opportunity this come around, it would have been crazy to turn it down.

“As a player, I don’t do things half heartedly. I’m a winner and if I’m going to do things, I’m going to do them properly. So that’s what I’m going to apply in my management.

“There’s going to be a lot of learning this season and a lot of trial and error but the board have put their trust in me and are willing to give me time.”

Burnham’s chairman Glen Skivington and director of football, Nas Bashir, were pleased to see James take up the position and are eager to see what the new season brings.

“It was a no brainer for us at all,” said Bashir. “We are all really pleased for him. We’re now looking forward to the new season and hopeful we can put a decent team together to challenge for the top half of the division.”

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