Bailey back as Lancing boss

Ash Bailey has sealed a return as Lancing Football Club boss.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 12:13 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:36 am
Ash Bailey has been reappointed Lancing manager. Picture by Liz Pearce

Bailey, who lead Lancers to a fourth-placed Southern Combination League Premier Division finish in his sole season in charge back in 2015/16, has been reappointed manager at Culver Road.

Following Ringmer's withdrawal from the SCFL - where Bailey was manager last season - the ex-Lancing boss became available for a return to his former club.

Bailey lead Lancers to their first silverware in 23 years during his previous spell - the Peter Bentley Cup - and has his sights set on a top-six finish next term after coming back to Culver Road.

He said: " I’m ecstatic and delighted to be back. I want to thank the board and committee for giving me this opportunity again and for me it was a no-brainer once I knew that Shar (John Sharman) was going to step down.

"I’m refreshed and ready to go. Last time I left because I had too many commitments to put all my time into the club, my kids were very young but they're that bit older I haven’t got those commitments any more so I will have more time to channel my energy into taking on the job and giving Lancing my best efforts.

I applied like everyone else and I’m so happy to be able to return to a club that I’ve always had an affinity with. '¨

“I was here as a player, as a coach, assistant and then manager, but in the nicest possible way it was good for me to go away and learn elsewhere at a club where it was perhaps a bit more of a challenge and get more experience lower down the leagues, which Ringmer provided me with.

"Ringmer weren’t initially in my plans when I left Lancing but I kept them up and then we narrowly missed out on going up this season just gone.

"They’ve decided they want to go in a different direction in pulling out the league and I wish the club all the best but it’s not a direction I want to be part of and I’m very excited and ready for the challenge at Lancing.

"I hope to be able to build on what John (Sharman) has done and bring some of the young players through.

"The squad is stable and the club were 16 points off a top-six finish this season just gone, so I’m looking to hopefully be able to bridge that gap next season and have a strong run in the local cups, FA Cup and the FA Vase as well.

"I’ve got a lot of work to do to organise a solid pre-season so late but I plan to keep the squad together and keep many of the backroom staff with me as well.

"I’m confident in my own ability as a manager, so I believe we can look to try and do as wonderfully well as we did last time I was here.”

A club official said: " All at Lancing FC are delighted to have Ash Bailey back at the club.

"We were extremely fortunate to be able to have an excellent group of candidates for the job as first team manager but the committee felt Ash’s experience and love for the club made him the best person to take us forward and be a part of one of the most exciting periods for Lancing Football Club in recent times. "With the re-introduction of the under-18 team to support our under-23s and first team, we believe we are able to offer a pathway from youth to adult football for the first time. We believe Ash can play a vital role in helping our club reach new heights and support our committee to excellent coaching and excellent facilities.

"We are currently one of the fastest growing clubs in Sussex and Ash will help ensure that this continues on the field as well as off it.”