Tommy stays at the Lane

Tommy Widdrington
Tommy Widdrington

Eastbourne Borough chairman Len Smith insisted it’s business as usual after Tommy Widdrington pledged his immediate future to the club.

Widdrington was given permission to speak to Skrill South rivals Chelmsford City who were seeking a manager to replace Dean Holdsworth who stood down at the beginning of November. Widdrington has strong links to Essex following his stint as assistant manager to Paul Sturrock at Southend.

His record at Borough has alerted clubs who have been impressed with the squad he has pieced together and the results achieved while working to a strict budget.

It has been said Widdrington was interviewed and offered the job at Chelmsford but he refused it because he wants to finish the project he has started at Priory Lane.

On Thursday morning Chelmsford confirmed the appointment of Mark Hawkes as the new first-team manager and Steve Smith as assistant manager.

Speaking on Thursday Widdrington was happy to talk football matters on the pitch this week. He pointed to the 1-0 victory at Boreham Wood that was followed by a fine 8-0 victory against Shoreham in the Sussex Senior Cup on Wednesday night.

He was however reluctant at this stage to discuss the approach made by Chelmsford or the managerial vacancy at League One outfit Crawley Town.

Speaking to Herald Sport club chairman Smith said, “Chelmsford approached us and expressed a wish to speak with Tommy. We reluctantly agreed and informed Tommy to expect a call from Chelmsford.

“We are extremely pleased Tommy has decided to stay with us. He has pieced together a young squad and he wants to stay and see the job through.

“I think Tommy is an ambitious mananger and I doubt we will be able to hold on to him forever.

“But I think he is happy living and working in Eastbourne and he wants to finish the job.”

For Smith, ‘finishing the job’ means a return to the Conference Premier.

Borough are currently ninth in the Skrill South table and victory at basement side Dorchester tomorrow would propel them into fifth.

Smith added, “It’s going well, we have a lot of work to do, and if we can get our gates up, that would be a huge help for us.”