Devonshire unveiled as Braintree boss

FORMER West Ham and England midfielder Alan Devonshire was unveiled as Braintree Town’s new manager at Cressing Road this afternoon.

The 55-year-old, who quit as manager of Hampton & Richmond Borough at the weekend, has beaten off more than 100 applicants for the job.

He becomes the Essex club’s fifth manager in as many years and faces the tough task of keeping the Iron in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Up against numerous former Football League clubs including the likes of Luton, Wrexham and York, Braintree will have one of the division’s lowest budgets and be one of just a handful of sides in the non-league top-flight that runs on a semi-professional basis.

“I’m delighted to be here and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Devonshire, who has been given a one-year deal.

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“The goal is to get to 50 points as quick as possible and then see where we can go from there.

“I haven’t spoken to any of the players yet, but I’m hoping I can keep them all together because I think they all deserve a chance having got the team promoted.”

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Ealing-based Devonshire – who made more than 350 appearances at the Upton Park club during the late 1970s and 1980s and earned eight caps for England – has worked wonders on a shoestring budget at Hampton & Richmond Borough over the last few years.

Over eight years, Devonshire took the London club from the Ryman League Division One South to the Blue Square South Conference and narrowly missed out on a third promotion twice thanks to play-off final defeats.

A wide midfielder, Devonshire collected an FA Cup winner’s medal in 1980 and gained eight caps for England before seeing out his playing career at Watford.

Having starting his management career with Maidenhead United, Devonshire was then in charge at Hampton for more than 400 games.

– Full story in tomorrow’s EADT.

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