Appointment will hopefully be permanent

WHITTON United have appointed Simon Betts as caretaker player-manager until the end of the season.The Ridgeons League Premier Division club begin 2009 with a home game against neighbours Needham Market with Betts having taken over from Gary Thompson, who moved to Tiptree to be assistant manager to Colin Wallington.

Elvin King

WHITTON United have appointed Simon Betts as caretaker player-manager until the end of the season.

The Ridgeons League Premier Division club begin 2009 with a home game against neighbours Needham Market with Betts having taken over from Gary Thompson, who moved to Tiptree to be assistant manager to Colin Wallington.

“We had seven applications to replace Gary, but decided to build from inside,” said Whitton press officer Ian Hart.


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“Simon is looking forward to taking on the job and we envisage it will be to the end of the season when we hope his appointment will be made permanent.”

Betts was on Ipswich Town and Colchester United's books and the 35-year-old still intends to carry on playing.

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While one key position has been filled, Whitton are still actively seeking a chairman to replace Phil Pemberton, who resigned in the autumn.

And with �20,000 needed to be spent to bring facilities at their King George V ground up to scratch by the end of the season there is an urgent need for the post to be filled.

“We are looking for a figurehead, who can drive us forward,” added Hart. “Someone who can take us to the next level.

“It is hard to attract sponsorship in these days of recession, but we are optimistic about our future with a strong committee and a good youth set-up.

“We are not expecting to have our new stadium ready for the next five years, but our ambition is to walk out for our first game at the new venue still a Ridgeons League Premier Division club.”

The recession has delayed plans to build on Whitton's current pitch, and this means that improvements need to be made to the current site. When building starts a brand new stadium will be erected at the far corner from where they are currently situated.

“Have we got �20,000 to spend bringing our facilities up to required levels? Of course we haven't,” said Hart.

“Which club has? But we will do our utmost, although to find that money in one hit is almost impossible.

“There have been a number of precedents so we don't expect to get kicked out of the top flight if the work is not carried out in time.”

Whitton have no main sponsor these days with West Ham midfielder Kieron Dyer's financial assistance now having ended.

“We appreciate his help,” added Hart. “And now we need an ambitious chairman to come onboard.”

More information on this post can be obtained by sending an e-mail to secretary@whittonutd.co.uk.

Stuart Reavell has moved up from the Under-18 side to take charge of Whitton's second XI.

Leiston's home game against leaders Lowestoft Town - with James Rowe set to make his debut for the home team - could turn out to be a title decider and should attract a large crowd, while Felixstowe and Walton United cross the Shotley estuary to play Harwich and Parkeston.

In the First Division, Debenham Leisure Centre and Ipswich Wanderers are at home, with Hadleigh travelling to Saffron Walden.

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