Betts: The club needs to be restructured

WHITTON United's new caretaker player-manager Simon Betts has confirmed he will not be taking on his new role on a full-time basis after this season. The 35-year-old defender was installed as the struggling Ridgeons League club's temporary boss on New Year's Day following former manager Gary Thompson's decision to become assistant manager at league rivals Tiptree United.

Stuart Watson

WHITTON United's new caretaker player-manager Simon Betts has confirmed he will not be taking on his new role on a full-time basis after this season.

The 35-year-old defender was installed as the struggling Ridgeons League club's temporary boss on New Year's Day following former manager Gary Thompson's decision to become assistant manager at league rivals Tiptree United.

However, Betts - whose first game in charge comes at Norwich United on Saturday - says that while he will be doing his upmost to keep the club in the Premier League this year, he will be stepping down at the end of the campaign.


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He said: “I have informed the club that I am not able to take on the role full-time past this season due to work commitments.

“There is a lot of restructuring that needs to go on at this club and unfortunately, with me trying to get into the police force, I will be unable to give this position the time it requires.”

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Born in Middlesbrough, Betts arrived in Suffolk in 1991 as a trainee for Ipswich Town.

Released a year later, Betts eventually signed for Colchester United where he went on to make over 200 appearances throughout the 1990s. Spells followed at Scarborough, Yeovil and Darlington before Betts dropped down to step five of the non-league game.

In recent years he has played at Halstead Town, Needham Market and Mildenhall Town before signing for Whitton last year.

Whitton secured promotion from Division One last season thanks to a late surge into the third and final promotion spot.

However, they have found the going tough so far at the higher level and find themselves fifth from bottom

following three straight defeats around the Christmas period.

Off the field things have been even more troublesome with the news that the club is struggling to find the �20,000 required to upgrade the facilities at their King George V ground up to the league's standards by the end of the season. The club had been planning to build an entirely new ground near their current site, however, the current economic downturn has meant that it will be at least five years before that can go ahead as planned. In addition, club chairman and stalwart Phil Pemberton resigned in September - a position still to be filled.

“This is a big job to take on as my first managerial role as the club needs to be restructured and be run better,” said Betts.

“I've got to get the lads playing well on the pitch. The first thing we need to do is become more solid and not be so easy to beat.

“I need to get the players into good habits.

“They need to be developing their game more than they have in recent times.”

Betts, who confirmed he is unlikely to play much while managing, added: “I will speak to a lot of people I know from the game who have managed and coached at all different levels.

“I'm always open to new ideas and advice. It will be a learning curve, in fact this week alone has already been a learning curve, but there are some young lads on the PASE scheme that are coming through that are good players.

They are not necessarily ready for 45 games a season right now, but once that have been nurtured a bit there are going to be some very good players at this club.

“Everyone's aim has got to be to stay in this division. Whatever happens this season I just want to make sure the lads put in as much effort and work as possible.

“Little things have got to change, nothing major. It's little things that make a big difference at this level.”

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