Combined Counties League Division One side Woodley United have appointed former Marlow assistant boss Jordan Blake as first-team manager.
The Kestrels were at times in danger of a return to Step 7 last season in the CCL, but five wins and a draw in March under former boss Kristian Parker ensured the club’s run at Step 6 or above since 2009 continued.
Blake will undoubtedly have work to do this summer to get United firing in a hugely competitive division that should include last season’s runners-up and beaten play-off finalists Hilltop, Eversley & California, Sandhurst Town and Berks County.
A long-serving coach under Mark Bartley at Marlow, Blake brings a wealth of experience in the Isthmian League to his first managerial role, and if the parting words from his former manager are anything to go by, there could be some off-field changes as well: “From his perspective, the work he has done behind the scenes is easy to go unnoticed but is hugely appreciated by me,” said Bartley.
“The work, in particular, he did to try and revamp our social media presence is something of a legacy that he will leave behind. From a personal perspective, his work ethic and commitment have been a massive help to me and I am truly appreciative of the many hours he has put in to help me create foundations upon which we both believe success can be built.”
A post on Twitter by Woodley said: “Exciting new chapter for the 1st team with the appointment of Jordan Blake as 1st Team Manager, details on pre-season and friendlies will be released soon.”
Elsewhere, former Woodley United boss Jamie Williams has been added to Simon Johnson’s first-team backroom staff at Reading City and Aaron Steadman has appointed as Jordan Blake’s replacement at Marlow.