It hasn’t taken Eastbourne Town boss John Lambert long to ruffle a few feathers as he embarks on his tough task of keeping Town in the Ryman League.
Both the Rye United boss Marc Gall and Eastbourne United manager Simon Rowland have already complained about Lambert’s way of recruiting players.
A fuming Gall claimed Town’s new boss has contacted Rye players this week without following the correct procedure.
He said, “In senior football you have to put in seven-day letters for players and the procedure was broken.
“I was aware that John Lambert tapped up one of my players before Tuesday night’s game which upset me. I would’ve expected a phone call. Eventually that phone call (from Lambert) came, we had a chat and I told him how I felt.
“The decision is down to a player, but the fact that you ring me up means more to me than anything else. Then you put the seven-day latter in.
“I got to football on Tuesday night and found out they’ve tapped up seven of my players. Some of the boys they tapped up had dual-signed with Eastbourne Town which is slightly different.
“It’s outright rude and disrespectful, not just to me, but (Rye chairman) Clive Taylor and Rye Football Club. I understand these things go on in football, but to do it to seven different players is disgraceful behaviour. The issue has been passed to the secretary (Tim Griffiths), who is putting a case together to the FA.”
Gall is delighted, however, that the players he alleges have been illegally approached have decided to stay at Rye, particularly Nathan Russell and Ricky Martin.
Lambert, who once had a touchline spat with Gall during his time at Sidley, mounted a robust defence.
He said, “He (Gall) wants to practice what he preaches. My secretary over here has told me they (Rye) have got four or five players from Eastbourne this year and there was only one seven-day letter (for Greg Nessling).
“He (Gall) has also had three or four players from Peche Hill so I asked Benji (Symes, Peche Hill manager) if he had a phone call (from Gall) and did he heck.
“I’ve got a good relationship with most managers and I do like to mainly do things by the book. I didn’t have Ginge’s (Gall’s) number so I squared it with Andy Thomson (Rye assistant manager) that I had spoken to a couple.
“I know I did one or two things wrong, but find me a manager that doesn’t and I’ll find you a liar.
“It’s nothing personal; it’s just football, but I would put my reputation up against his any day of the week as for doing things right and proper.”
Rye are due to visit Eastbourne Town in a Sussex Senior Cup third round tie on Wednesday, although Gall is currently away on business and won’t be there.