Mildenhall Town boss Christian Appleford leads a busy life

Mildenhall Town manager Christian Appleford

Mildenhall Town manager Christian Appleford - Credit: Archant

CHRISTIAN Appleford knows more than most the demands of managing a side at Thurlow Nunn League level.

Appleford juggles being boss of a side 40 miles from his Ipswich home with a demanding job, as well as family life with wife Meg and three daughters. He is now in his third season in charge at Mildenhall Town, is assistant head teacher at nearby Mildenhall College and father to 14-year-old Chloe, Brodie, who is eight, and Imgoen, who is six.

Appleford’s first job was as a PE teacher at Copleston High School in Ipswich for two years. He then moved to be head of PE and head of Year 8 at Combs Middle School for one year, before becoming head of PE at Mildenhall College six years ago.

The 35-year-old then stepped up to the role of assistant head teacher at the start of the current school year last September.

“It takes between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on the time of day and how busy the roads are, to travel to Mildenhall, which I am used to so it doesn’t bother me.

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“I fit in a lot of work on Tuesday and Thursdays after school and before we have training on those nights, and most midweek matches are also on a Tuesday.”

Mildenhall have been challenging for the title at the top of the Premier Division all season, until fading away in recent weeks.

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Appleford said: “We didn’t think realistically that we would win the league, but we are a top-six side and we still want to finish as high as we can. We can also still have a say in who wins the title.

“We finished fifth and won the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup in my first season and were seventh last season with a better points-per-game average and we are on target to do that again this season.”

Appleford, whose assistant is former Cambridge United, Northampton Town, Leyton Orient and Bury striker Tom Youngs, added that the club’s progress since he has been in charge should not solely be measured by the first-team’s performances.

He said: “We have also made a lot of progress off the pitch. Progress is not always about what happens at first-team level.

“We have re-structured our youth team set-up from under-9s to under-16s, which we didn’t have, we are starting an under-18 side and we are now a community chartered club.

“It is a great club with good people. As a manager you want to go as high as you can in the game and hopefully I can do that with Mildenhall.

“We want to push on and will be looking to win promotion next season.”

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