21st Sep, 2020

Fans' favourite Clarke is named new Reds boss

Liam Moakes 10th Sep, 2020

THE MANAGERIAL merry-go-round has continued at Redditch United with the departure of Wayne Spicer and appointment days later of former Reds favourite and captain Matt Clarke.

Reds fans had been left in dismay when last week ended with the news Spicer – only appointed in late April following the shortlived reign of Duane Darby – had left the Trico Stadium for personal reasons.

However, four days later on Tuesday, new United chairman David Faulkner announced former Reds defender and assistant manager Clarke had taken the hotseat – much to the acclaim of fans and former players and managers on social media.

Clarke, whose backroom team will be announced soon, will lead the Reds for the first time in Saturday’s home friendly against Kettering Town.

The Southern Premier Central opener is the following weekend at home to Needham Market.

Faulkner said of Clarke’s appointment: “We are delighted to have Matt on board with us. It was essential for us to have someone at the helm who understands the club and Matt’s previous history, both as a player and assistant manager, gives him the understanding of what we need as a club to be successful.

“This appointment isn’t just mine, it has been made by a collection of people at the club and it is one which I fully support.

“Matt has the full backing of us all and it is really important he has support both from the club and the fans. His objective is to stabilise the team this year and enable us to push further in the future.”

As a player, Clarke had spells with Wolves, West Brom and Halesowen Town as a youngster before heading to Kidderminster Harriers in a £10,000 move.

After a season at Aggborough, he left for Hereford United where he played around 150 games over four seasons before further moves took him to Telford United and Redditch. Clarke also worked as assistant manager for the Reds under Paul Smith in 2018.

Former Reds manager Darren Byfield tweeted: “Great news and what a top guy. One of the real ones, when he has something to say he says it to you. None of this play nice nonsense to your face and talking behind your back. Go and smash it @matty263 you deserve it.”

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