Following six successful seasons of development, both on and off the field, First Team Manager Robin Van der Laan and Assistant Manager Paul Groves have advised the board of their intention to step down at the end of the 2023 season. Robin will return to his important Directorship role at the club.
Robin's tenure started at a time that the club's board of directors agreed a five-year plan to upgrade all the clubs' facilities and infrastructure. During this period the club has:
Added additional floodlights.
Refurbished and extended the changing rooms to include male and female official changing.
Added a new medical room.
Refurbished the clubhouse.
Provided a new and improved cafe area for home and visiting supporters.
New press box.
Additional catering facilities in the away end.
Outside toilets completely refurbished.
Colin Spencer Boardroom redeveloped.
Refurbished the Directors Lounge providing an excellent facility for directors and sponsors.
Built a new hospitality facility, The Paul Ratcliffe Lounge, which will be officially opened on 25th March 2023. A fitting tribute to our former Chairman who contributed so much to the club.
We are extremely grateful for the contribution of the Football Foundation and our major sponsors for their help in completing these works.
With this in mind, the club are looking to move onto the next stage of its development, with a brand new 3G pitch only a few months from completion, giving us a chance to provide first class facilities for the community.
The important role Robin, who is also International Head Coach at Manchester United, will play in helping the club push onto the next level cannot be understated.
Robin and Paul have developed a number of players to succeed in moving into professional football, including Ryan Mclean and James Melhado to name just two.
We must also recognise Robin's contribution to the successful development of our Education Academy in this period, developing a youth policy at the club which resulted in us often fielding the youngest team in the league. This will certainly be the legacy Robin leaves behind.
We would like to place on record our sincere thanks for the hard work, commitment and contribution to the club Robin has played over the past six years, steering the club through some of its biggest changes in its short history.
We would also like to place on record our sincere thanks to assistant manager Paul Groves and the rest of Robin's coaching staff for their contribution during the past six seasons.
The club will advise in due course arrangements for appointing Robin's replacement.