Former Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins is Leiston’s new assistant boss

Richard Wilkins

Richard Wilkins - Credit: Archant

Former Bury Town boss Richard Wilkins has joined Leiston as first-team assistant to Steve Ball.

Just a few months after leaving Ram Meadow, where he spent 14 years, Wilkins is moving across the county to Victory Road and admitted last night, he can’t wait to get started.

“I’ve know Bally (Steve Ball) a very long time,” Wilkins said.

“Our paths have crossed many times and we have always been friends.

“We had a discussion about me being his assistant at Leiston and it went from there to be honest.

“It was never easy to leave Bury, but that’s now in the past and this is a new challenge, I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I must admit I always wanted really to work at the same level of non-league as I had at Bury Town and now I have that chance.

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“I like to think I know a lot about the opposition teams and a lot about the Ryman Premier. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Former Leiston assistant boss Rob Bate has recently opened a new cycle shop in Hadleigh and has been honest in admitting to the club he can’t commit the amount of time, especially on Saturdays, they were looking for, which led to Wilkins being asked to join the Leiston management team.

“I must admit I’ve had a few phone calls from clubs, but I can only think some of them didn’t know where I actually lived as they wanted me to talk about jobs with teams in and around London,” Wilkins added.

“Initially I was in no hurry to get back into the game, but the World Cup sort of got the old juices flowing again and this opportunity is just right.

“Leiston have a good bunch of players and obviously ones like Tom Bullard and Craig Parker I know well.

“But the club have had a few managerial issues in the past 18 months or so and perhaps need a bit of stability, which I hope I can help provide.

“I can put a line underneath Bury Town now. I never had any grudges with them, now it’s time for me to move on.”

Leiston chairman Andy Crisp said: “I’ve always had the utmost respect for Richard and all he has done at Bury Town over 14 years.

“It all happened rather quickly and I know Steve Ball and he are good friends.

“I am looking to Richard to help with the whole structure of the club, not just the first team.

“Richard is fully aware of his position in the club and is happy to support Steve.

“I’m highly delighted to have someone of his calibre at Victory Road.”