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'It was a no-brainer'... Glen Driver returns to Leiston as first-team manager

PUBLISHED: 20:51 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 20:52 11 November 2019

Left to right: Andy Crisp, chairman, Glen Driver, Tony Kinsella and Peter Mayhew (vice-chairman) Photo: CRAIG COOPER

Left to right: Andy Crisp, chairman, Glen Driver, Tony Kinsella and Peter Mayhew (vice-chairman) Photo: CRAIG COOPER

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Glen Driver has returned to Leiston as first-team boss.

Glen Driver, left and Tony Kinsella, back at Leiston. Photo: NIGEL BROWNGlen Driver, left and Tony Kinsella, back at Leiston. Photo: NIGEL BROWN

Just over a year since the Ipswich-based manager quit Victory Road, he's back, after last week leaving National League South Braintree Town.

Driver's long-time assistant Tony Kinsella is joining him.

"Everyone knows Leiston are a club close to my heart and after leaving Braintree and knowing Leiston were interested, it was a no-brainer to be honest," Driver said.

"I had other clubs wanting to speak to me, but I had two-and-a-half good years at Leiston and while things haven't gone well for them recently I feel in some ways I owe it to a club whose fans have always been so good to me, to try and bring better times back."

Driver is keen to stress his ambitions remain high.

"I had a good time at Braintree and I've had lots of messages from Braintree fans thanking me for what me and Tony did," he added.

"I've left Braintree with a young and exciting squad and now I'm looking forward to the challenge at Leiston.

"I'm ambitious, sealing our Step 3 future is the main thing and I want to make Leiston the top Suffolk non-league club again, not in the future, but this season."

Driver knows it will not be an easy ride back at a club who have had a tough start to the season. Leiston sit bottom of the Southern League Premier with just two wins.

"There are going to be ups and downs and we will get a few hidings, but the fans know I'll be doing everything to keep the team up," Driver said.

"Byron Lawrence is returning to us from his loan at Braintree and I'll be adding two or three more faces, hopefully by the weekend.

"We have some great young players who will get their opportunities.

Leiston players celebrate with boss Glen Driver en route to a win over  Billericay when Driver was last at Leiston. Picture: PAUL VOLLERLeiston players celebrate with boss Glen Driver en route to a win over Billericay when Driver was last at Leiston. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

"I hope everyone is patient. I have a great rapport with the Leiston fans and I can't wait to get going."

There was a mass exodous of Leiston players in the summer which has left the club rebuilding. They looked like being cut adrift at the bottom of the table, but two recent wins and a draw sees them just three points off safety.

Leiston chairman Andy Crisp said: "When we knew Glen was available, we knew we wanted to get him back.

"We are an ambitious club and want to retain our Step 3 status. Glen will help us do that.

"I want to thank Ian Cornforth who was in charge before Glen and also our superb fans who support us home and away. We need them more than ever now.

"I know much has been written and said, especially on social media, about Leiston's demise. But I can assure fans that has never been the Board's thoughts here at Leiston and we are looking forward to having Glen and Tony back."

Driver and Kinsella will be in charge of the team tomorrow night. The Blues entertain third-placed Hednesford in a league clash.

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