Herald Opinion: Wilson and Greenwood will surely leave with their heads held high

Where do you begin in summing up the achievements of sacked Eastbourne Borough management duo Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood?

They have been at the club for a combined total of 28 years with Wilson clocking up 13 and Greenwood 15.

The success during that time has been well documented in the Herald throughout the past decade and on the sport pages of this week’s edition.

The Wilson and Greenwood management combination helped propel the club from the County League to the elite of non-league football - the Blue Square Premier.

They achieved all their objectives and possibly more before they were sacked on Tuesday night by the Eastbourne Borough committee.

Chairman Len Smith, who continues his recovery from a recent stroke, admitted it was the hardest decision he has ever had to make.

The chairman had never before sacked a manager in senior football, so to tell his friend and manager and his coach their services were no longer required after more than a decade of success was a tough call to make.

Success on the pitch helped build a club that has integrated into the community of Eastbourne. Boro’ work regularly with prominent local businesses and the clubhouse combines football with adult learning, bowls, archery and a thriving youth football set-up.

Their epic rise through the non-league pyramid provided a welcome boost for the town’s economy.

Home games against the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Luton Town, Wrexham and Cambridge United brought visiting supporters to Eastbourne in their thousands - generating income for the local bars, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs.

Maintaining that level of football proved difficult for a part-time club and they were relegated back into the regional league of the Blue Square South last season.

Attendances have dropped significantly and results on the pitch have been poor as Boro’ worringly inch towards the relegation zone.

The club recently announced plans for a multi-million pound revamp of Priory Lane and are working feverishly behind the scenes to secure investment and increase revenue streams so they can compete as a full-time club with the hope of one day competing in the Football League.

Another relegation would spell disaster and that’s precisely why chairman Smith and his committee felt they had to act. We agree with them.

Wilson and Greenwood were determined to leave on a high but last Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Dorchester is not how they will be remembered.

They will surely leave with their heads held high and fans will appreciate their professionalism, dedication and the many fond memories they delivered during the last 13 years.

The club look forward to a new chapter in their history and if the new management team, whoever that maybe, can achieve a fraction of the previous management’s success, Boro’ should again be in shape to carve a successful future.