‘New manager by next week’ claims under pressure FC chief

Aylesbury FC chairman Danny Martone and Steve Bateman (inset)
Aylesbury FC chairman Danny Martone and Steve Bateman (inset)

Aylesbury FC chairman Danny Martone says he is looking to announce a new manager by ‘early next week’ after coming under increasing pressure from the club’s fans.

The club’s internet fans’ forum has been at fever pitch with speculation over who might succeed Craig Faulconbridge after he stepped down last month.

The club has come in for criticism from some fans for taking its time in making an appointment, which has only increased as the Moles’ losing run stretched to five games at the weekend.

When asked for an update on the managerial situation last week, FC chairman Martone said he was happy with the setup of Jon Franklin, Keith Walker and Fraser McLachlan and was in no rush to appoint someone new.

But the pressure told last night (Monday) when Martone went against his principles to issue a statement clarifying the situation.

He said: “I am not one to make statements before I am ready however due to recent comments I feel I must.

“One of the things that saddens me more than us losing a game is when people want to damage the club whilst it is experiencing a tough time and that is sad. As concerns a managerial appointment, the club was in no rush or indeed looking for a new management team as Jon, Keith and Fraser had stepped up to the plate.

“Due to work commitments, however, it has not worked out for Jon and Keith to continue. I have spoken to both and they will help out until we install a new manager. Fraser will remain a part of the management and he has a long future with FC.

“Games come thick and fast at this level and with rules and regulations including talking to managers, it is difficult to sign players. I am however meeting a potential candidate on Tuesday and there are another two interviews planned by the weekend. We are therefore looking to announce our appointment early next week.

“I would like to ask you all to stay calm and get behind the team as they need your support more than ever now.

“I fully understand all the frustrations we face and I for one will always appreciate your loyalty and support.

“It’s the start of a new dawn at the club that needs to be endorsed so let’s forget the speculation, the negativity and look forward to the bright future that our supporters undoubtedly deserve.”

While Martone is keeping his cards close to his chest over potential appointments, the club has been linked with a move for experienced manager Steve Bateman, who left Slough by mutual consent back in May after a successful four-year reign.

Bateman would be a popular choice for the club’s fans after showing his managerial prowess as manager of Chesham United, Berkhamstead Town – where he guided them to the FA Vase final at Villa Park – and Hemel Hempstead Town, who he guided to promotion to the Southern Premier League.

Meanwhile, the club has awarded four of its current youth team players with Calor League forms ahead of tonight’s (Tuesday) trip to Marlow, who beat Aylesbury United 1-0 at the weekend.

Youth skipper Robert Tomlin, Alex Wray, Greg Copcutt and Jacob Lowe will go into the first team squad as FC continue to promote and put their faith in local talent.