Wood Appoint Garrard

By Jessica Smithson

Vanarama National League club Boreham Wood have announced that long-standing Academy Director and first-team assistant-manager Luke Garrard, has been promoted to first-team manager following Ian Allinson's recent departure.

Garrard's appointment is not felt by chairman Danny Hunter to be either a gamble or a rushed appointment, as he has been instrumental in both the first-team and academy's success stories over the last eight seasons.

He has also done a fantastic job in assisting Allinson over the last three years and has improved not only our coaching provision but the organisation across the board.

With Garrard and Junior Lewis already overseeing the new daily training programme in regards to the first-team squad, this is an appointment that will not disrupt the club`s stability and one that rewards Garrard's ability, hard work and loyalty.

Hunter said: "Losing Ian Allinson was of course not something I had expected at this particular juncture but was something I knew would happen at some time. As such I had prepared our club when building our infra structure, for life without Ian, as it was always our plan if we got into the National league to go full time at some stage, knowing that Ian was always going to remain at Carlsberg full-time.

"Luke's appointment simply keeps the continuity, stability, organisation and energy levels in place and will I hope, improve on the foundations we have already built over the years. I could I suppose of strung everyone along and drawn out the whole, who will the next manager be conundrum?? I could of gone through the rigmarole of inviting applications and going through an interview process but that's totally unfair on the very good people who are applying, as I always knew who I wanted.

"So after gauging the players and importantly Luke's and the staff's opinions over the last two days. I have gone with my instinct and made the decision to appoint Luke Garrard as Boreham Wood Football Club`s new first-team manager. I've also decided to make it public before Thursday and Friday's very important training sessions. This will allow Luke, his staff and the players to prepare properly for the game at Guiseley on Saturday, with clear heads and a clear game plan.

"I had a quick chat with Ian Allinson, about my thought process regarding Luke becoming his successor. In truth he also felt that although he is young, that he has had an immense influence on the club in recent years and was clearly the best candidate, as he knows myself, the players, the staff and the club infra structure inside out.

"It must also be remembered that I've had great success at the club in recent years with our policy of promoting from within. Luke has been a successful player here, a successful coach here, a successful academy director here and a successful assistant manager here. In truth I have mentored him for many years, knowing that the day would come for him to eventually manage this club and that day is now here.

“As such I feel it's very much the correct choice and for him to have the experience and expertise of Junior Lewis within his management team is also a huge bonus for Luke. Young managers will of course make mistakes and will need support but he has managed at every level of this club under the first team. He has a great dressing room presence, he has bundles of experience and tactical awareness for somebody so young and he's well respected by the players, staff and supporters alike.

"Luke will face pressure situations and difficult decisions, as a rookie manager that's inevitable. Pressure is all part of the job and he must understand quickly that football management can and will be a very lonely business at times. That said, he will get all the support that he needs just as Ian did and trust me when I say, that I know his character, his ambition and his leadership qualities inside out and as such he'll do a great job."

After accepting the managerial position, Garrard said: "I'm extremely happy and honoured to be appointed as the new manager. I have spoken with the chairman at length over the past few days, about the clubs position, on what he expects and how we move forward. I'm excited by the clubs future plans and appreciate the confidence that Danny is showing in me, by giving me the role.

"We have spoken in regards to what is expected of the dressing room for this season and I believe that can certainly be achieved. We have a very good group of players at the club and with the day time training and contact time with myself and Junior Lewis now in place, I feel the results can and will improve.

"The club is and has been a huge part of my life, I have gained valuable experienced since joining the coaching staff eight years ago and I feel ready to take on the challenges in this next progression. I've worked alongside Ian for just over three seasons as his assistant-manager and I have learnt a lot in that time. I owe Ian a huge thank you but it`s now my turn to make the tough decisions, it's now my head that's on the block and hopefully I will get the big decisions more right than wrong.

"I have a lot to thank the chairman for since joining the club, he has invested so much time and energy into my progression and has always shown great confidence in me. I know I will have his full support and I hope I can repay the faith he has shown in me and give him and the supporters a brand of football that's both competitive, entertaining and successful.

"Our focus is only about looking forward to Saturday`s away trip to Guiseley. We now have two sessions to prepare properly, as we look to go there and return with a positive result. The aim is to climb the league as soon as possible and I have great faith that myself and this set of players can achieve that."

Where next?

Truro Move for Knowles Vanarama National League South club Truro City have signed Ollie Knowles
Margate v Forest Green Cup Tie Live on BT Sport Vanarama National League South club Margate have confirmed that their Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie against National League leaders Forest Green Rovers has been selected to be shown live on BT Sport.