Pagham set to announce new boss after Simmonds quits

Tom Simmonds / Picture by Roger Smith
Tom Simmonds / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham are set to announce their new manager as soon as this weekend.

Chairman Tony Shea is wasting no time replacing Tom Simmonds, who stepped down last weekend.

With the club’s pre-season due to start next Tuesday, the club had no time to waste in finding a new first-team boss.

Applications closed yesterday (Weds) and Shea said there had been interest from several candidates.

“I aim to speak to people on Thursday and Friday and appoint by Saturday,” he said.

He admitted it was a blow to lose Simmonds – who has resigned for personal reasons – so soon after he was appointed sole first-team boss.

That was in April after Richie Hellen, with whom Simmonds had done the job jointly, stepped down.

Simmonds said: “I’m devastated but what I would stress is that there’s always a door open for Tom at Pagham.

“He’s been with us five or six years and has progressed through coaching the under-18s and 23s to the first team.

“It’s a massive blow.”

Announcing Simmonds’ departure last Saturday, a club statement said: “Pagham Football Club are sad to announce that Tom Simmonds has today stepped down from his role as first team manager with immediate effect, due to personal reasons.

“The chairman and his committee would like to put on record how truly grateful they are for Tom’s commitment over the past five years.

“We would like to recognise what a magnificent job he has done during his time at the club – from winning under-18 league titles two seasons on the trot and being cup winners in the same seasons, to winning the double at under-21 level, then taking on the first team joint manager role with Richie Hellen, guiding the team to finish third in the premier division, RUR Cup finalists and Sussex Senior Cup semi-finalists in the same season.

“His dedication over the past five years speaks volumes about the man and we

will miss him at Nyetimber Lane.

“We wish Tom all the best for the future.” Shea said thenew manager would need to hit the ground running, with pre-season starting on Tuesday and the first friendly looming away to Hamble on Saturday, July 13.

At least three more friendlies follow before the Lions begin their latest bid for Southern Combination honours on August 3.