Eastbourne Borough chairman Len Smith has continued to keep faith with long serving management duo Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood despite the near-certainty of relegation to the Blue Square Bet South.
Smith believes Wilson and Greenwood’s proven track record in the South will help Boro’ achieve their objective of operating as a full-time football club within three years.
Smith said, “I believe we can come back into the league (the Blue Square Bet Premier) as a stronger and better prepared club. We thought we were ready to compete at that level but obviously we were not. Within the three years the league has got stronger and you have to be full-time to survive.
“Some may see it as a lack of ambition but we need to establish ourselves in the South and get plans in place so when we do go back up we will be able to cope.
“In three years time we hope to develop our training facilities and have a full-time manager in place. We have discussed this with Garry and Nick and they have agreed to work with us to get us to that point.”
Smith admitted it was not an easy decision to make. A number of applicants expressed an interest in the position but the chairman and committee decided to stick by the men who masterminded Boro’s rise from the County League.
“I think the majority of the fans will be pleased. There will be a section who wanted to a see a change but I believe Garry and Nick have a great record.
“We all have our opinions and we have had our disagreements this season but they know what we want to achieve. We expect a lot from Garry and Nick and we need them to deliver results.”
An upbeat Wilson was delighted to continue and is already preparing for his 12th season at the helm.
“I did not want to leave like this. I still feel as though I have a lot to offer this club.
“If I felt the club did not want me I would go elsewhere.
“If I didn’t do this I would manage somewhere else - even my pub team.”
Wilson said he will miss the buzz of mixing it with non-league’s elite but admitted it was demoralising facing full-time opposition.
“It will be good to compete on a level playing field once again. We have learnt a lot of lessons as a club and we plan to come back stronger.
“I will not be here forever and if we do get promoted again I would step aside as there has to be a full-time manager in place to compete in the Premier.
“There is nothing more I would like than to be a full-time manager but I have job outside of football, I’m not getting any younger and I think that opportunity may have passed me by.
“But we have a lot to do to get back up. The South is a competitive league and we know that nothing is going to be automatic.
“The year we got promoted we played some tremendous stuff and were the leading goalscorers in the division.
“There will be a lot of changes during the summer. Players will come and go but the important thing is to get this club moving forward and feeling positive once again.”