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Former Dover, Hythe and Ramsgate coach Darren Beale joins Ben Smith's backroom team at Herne Bay following spells with National League sides Hemel Hempstead and Concord Rangers

Isthmian League side Herne Bay have a new head coach.

Darren Beale has been reunited with manager Ben Smith and the pair can’t wait to get going.

Darren Beale pictured a few years ago at Dover Athletic
Darren Beale pictured a few years ago at Dover Athletic

They previously worked successfully together at Canterbury City but most recently Beale has been working at National League South side Hemel Hempstead.

Beale had also been at Concord Rangers recently and in Kent will be known for his time working at Dover, Hythe, Ramsgate and the academy at Gillingham.

Following his appointment, speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I'm looking forward to joining a club that has great ambition and was sold on the project and long term plans both the chairman and manager have.

“I'm also excited to be working with a great management team and a strong squad. As well as working for a loyal fan base that Herne Bay has.”

Darren Beale was assistant manager to Tim Dixon at Ramsgate Picture: Martin Apps
Darren Beale was assistant manager to Tim Dixon at Ramsgate Picture: Martin Apps

Beale will also eventually be working with the club’s academy and hopes to strengthen the connection between the youth teams and senior set-up.

“I can't wait to get started!” he added.

Herne Bay were chasing a play-off spot in Isthmian League South East before the season was declared null and void following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Manager Smith said: “Darren brings a wealth of experience with him and has developed a fantastic reputation with players at National League level.

“I've said for a while now that we need to make improvements both on and off the pitch if we are serious in our ambitions for the chairman to bring a coach in from National League South level is a big step for us.

“I'm looking forward to seeing Darren working with the talented players we will have at our club for the coming season.”

The club, meanwhile, held a virtual end of season awards show on Friday.

The HBFC Loyal Fan Club player-of-the-year award went to Danny Lawrence.

Among the winners was Tushaun-Tyreese Walters, taking the directors' player-of-the-year award and goal of the season accolade for his effort against Ashford United.

Herne Bay's Danny Lawrence plays in Zak Ansah against Ashford early on last season. Both were award winners.
Herne Bay's Danny Lawrence plays in Zak Ansah against Ashford early on last season. Both were award winners.

Golden boot winner Zak Ansah - who showed off his impressive lockdown garden earlier this year - got the manager's player-of-the-season and the players' player award.

The Jim Bubb clubman award went to Barry Tracy while supporter-of-the-season was Sam Robson.

More: Bay's big thank you to the NHS

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