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Ashford United manager Tommy Warrilow on the task facing him at Homelands

By Steve Tervet

Tommy Warrilow is hoping to bring stability back to both Homelands and his own career after being named Ashford's new manager.

Warrilow succeeded Gary Alexander on Tuesday, a month since the demise of his last club, Thamesmead Town.

The former Cray boss wants to get stuck into another long-term project similar to his reign at Tonbridge Angels.

Ashford's new manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Steve Crispe
Ashford's new manager Tommy Warrilow Picture: Steve Crispe

That's exactly what the Nuts & Bolt need having just appointed their fourth manager in 16 months.

Warrilow said: "Hopefully we can push the club on because the last couple of years have been really difficult over at Thamesmead.

"People don’t realise. No-one rings you up. There was no coverage, no reports and trying to draw players in was difficult because there wasn’t a load of money over there.

"We were trying to change the stigma that was around the football club but we just couldn’t get any backing.

"We were trying to get people involved with a new journey but no-one was having it. The chairman couldn’t sustain it all.

"Goodness knows how many players I’ve used over the last few years and that’s not a good sign. You need a bit of stability and hopefully we can bring that.

"They’re sitting in a nice position in the league and they’ve picked up some wins in the last three games so we’re not going to bring a load of players in because the boys seem to be doing fine.

"We need to know if they want to be part of it still because Gary’s brought them to the club.

"We’ll look them in the eye, tell them what’s what and if boys don’t want to be there, that’s fine, there’s no animosity.

"If boys want to stay and dig in and have a go and get to know us all, that’ll be even better."

Warrilow spent six-and-a-half years at Tonbridge, leading them into Conference South but resigning when they were relegated in 2014.

He took over at Cray the following January and pulled off the Great Escape by keeping them in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Warrilow had two full seasons in charge at Thamesmead before they ran out of money earlier this season.

He said: "Perhaps I’m due a bit of luck. I stayed at Tonbridge for a long time and think I did a good job.

"We did what we did at Cray and since then we’ve gone to Thamesmead and tried to reinvent something and put fires out down there.

"Now I’ve got a club where someone wanted me. Fingers crossed it all works out and I can get a bit of stability back into my management as well rather than a year here or there.

"I don’t want that, I want to build something and that takes time.

"Ashford have got big plans but it’s not going to be a quick fix. If clubs grow off the pitch, that’s the key to growing on it.

"I know Ashford can attract big crowds because I’ve played down there. I know the potential of the football club and hopefully we can rekindle that

"Everyone knows houses are going up two to the dozen down there so the population is growing.

"Hopefully we can attract them into the football club and take it up to the next level and the level above."

Warrilow's first game is away to Phoenix Sports on Saturday.

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