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Whitstable Town manager Nicky Southall appoints Steve Nolan as new assistant manager after Jason Lillis quit the club

27 February 2014
by Alex Hoad

Nicky Southall

Nicky Southall

Whitstable Town have moved swiftly to appoint Steve Nolan as new assistant manager after Jason Lillis quit the club on Tuesday night.

Lillis arrived at the Belmont in May as a replacement for previous assistant boss Richard Langley, leaving Lordswood after guiding the Medway club to fifth in the Kent League – their highest-ever finish.

But after Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Ramsgate, Lillis told Town manager Nicky Southall he was leaving after less than a year with the Ryman League club.

He said: “After long, hard consideration over a couple of months, I have decided to stand down as assistant manager. I explained to Nicky my reasons. I have big expectations and am a committed person.

“But one thing that is top of my list of expectations is to enjoy my football. When you feel that the enjoyment is not there, it’s hard to be as committed as you should be.

“I hope things turn around and that Whitstable Town push up the league.”

On Wednesday Southall swooped to appoint Steve Nolan, who was first team coach at Ramsgate under Tim Dixon until last week and who was previously on the coaching staff at the Belmont under Peter Nott before departing in October 2011.

Southall said: "‘Steve brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of football at this level and I’m sure will integrate well.

"This is an exciting opportunity for both Steve and I as we look to guide Whitstable up the table and improve our current standing, which clearly has to be our first and immediate priority."

Chairman, Gary Johnson, added: "Steve is well known at the club and a very welcome addition, a safe and steady, experienced pair of hands. His appointment may also help to attract further talented individuals to the cause."


Lillis left the club 18th in Ryman League, Division 1 South, with 21 of their 46 league fixtures still to cram into 59 days.

Whitstable host Merstham on Thursday night (7.45pm) and high-flying Folkestone Invicta on Saturday before clashing with local rivals Herne Bay at Winch’s Field on Tuesday. They are in action again next Thursday, at home to Guernsey, with 11 games scheduled during a manic March.

Mr Johnson thanked Lillis as well as departing kitman Gary Nelson, who cited work commitments for his departure this week.

Mr Johnson said: “Gary has been a pleasure to work with but employment commitments must come first.”


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