REDDITCH United have taken another impressive stride forward with the appointment of David Lawrence as the club’s first ever general manager.
The new role will see him responsible for the day-to-day running of the Valley Stadium operation while also bolstering the club’s links with businesses and the Redditch community as a whole.
It is an exciting time for the football club with the installation of a cutting-edge 3G pitch and extensive improvements to the facilities and September will also see the launch of its own academy in association with Bournville College.
Reds chairman Chris Swan said: “With so much going on at the club on the back of an investment of nearly £900,000, it is essential we have the right people in place to take the club forward.
“David knows the town inside out, has great contacts and is perfectly placed to help the club develop.
“He has worked with us on various projects over the past few years and I’m delighted we can now announce he has joined the Redditch United set-up.”
A journalist and sports entrepreneur, Lawrence’s links with the football club go back 30 years to when he started covering football matches at the Valley Stadium for one of the local newspapers.
Since then he worked for a number of newspapers around the country before launching his own sports agency and media business.
He said: “I have been fortunate to report on football at every level from England and Wales internationals right down to non-league games where you could count the fans on one hand.
“However, it all started at Redditch United and the club has always been special to me, so I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to take on such a key role at one of the most exciting times in their 125-year history.
“Things have been improving on the field for a number of seasons and now we need to replicate that success by building and developing our links with businesses, schools and communities around the area.”
THE REDS begin their pre-season campaign with a trip to West Midlands Regional League Premier Division outfit AFC Bridgnorth on Saturday and boss Darren Byfield will be working with a squad of 23 as preparations for the Southern League Premier Division campaign begin.
Ten players are signed on – including strikers Clinton Morrison and Jamie Spencer, defenders Jordan Jones, Duane Courtney and Clayton McDonald and keeper Brad Catlow – and the manager says the next fortnight will be important.
“There are players training with us who I have to make decisions about and this will determine how much more business we do, but we are just looking forward to getting to work in the friendlies now,” said Byfield.
Byfield, who revealed potential targets Lee and Stuart Hendrie will not be returning to the Valley having chosen to play for newly-formed Midland League Division Three side Montpellier, then takes his side to Midland League Premier Division outfit Loughborough University on Wednesday.
The Reds will discover their Southern League Premier Division fixtures at 9am on Friday, July 15.