Hughes to take charge at Greenway Lane

PUBLISHED: 08:48 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:48 19 September 2018

Archant

It has been a difficult, not to say, hideous summer at Greenway Lane with the loss of Kevin Hill and the whole management team to Exmouth Town at very short notice, which left the club trying to find a manager so late that prospective candidates had been snapped up, writes Keith Wood.

Budleigh stalwart John Pannell stepped into the breach only to watch the team from last year be picked off one by one by neighbouring clubs.

John has had to search for players and rely on the half dozen that remained loyal to the club, and over the last two months he and Sean Slater have done an incredible job.

The results may not show this, but the young Robins have battled through every game with great attitude and desire. John always maintained this would only be a caretaking role and so the main priority for the club was to find a new manager to guide them through the new league restructure and commit themselves to the Robins for next season.

The search hadn’t started when a chance conversation between club secretary Keith Wood and last year’s assistant manager resulted in an agreement which has taken many by surprise.

As from next Sunday (September 23), Matt Hughes will take charge of Budleigh Salterton first team, with a long term plan to manage the club for the rest of this season and next.

A statement from the football club reads: “We are delighted to welcome back Matt.

“He brings a wealth of experience from various leagues and was hugely popular last year with the players.

“It has been a very rough summer and early season for the club and not one it deserved. We have survived thanks to John Pannell and his team on the pitch and the committee of the club off the pitch.

“We will get up, dust ourselves down and look forward to Matt bringing his own style of football to Greenway Lane over the coming months and it’s good to have something positive to smile about again.”

John Pannell’s last match in charge is the Walter Parsons Cup tie at Ilfracombe on Saturday (September 22), after which he will pass the Budleigh baton to Matt to deal with the University at home on Wednesday, September 26. That’s a game that kicks off at 7.30pm.

More Budleigh football inside including news on a splendid cup win for theBudleigh ladies.

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