27th November 2018 |Club News | Views

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The experienced and highly regarded Tommy Warrilow has made an emotional return to Homelands as the new manager of Ashford United.

Warrilow, who served Ashford Town with distinction as a player, has managed Tonbridge Angels, Cray Wanderers and Thamesmead Town during his successful career in the dugout but says the opportunity to return to Homelands was one he wanted to take: “The chance to manage Ashford was too good to turn down. The club is well respected within non-league circles and I truly believe that some exciting times are ahead with the project the club has in place to build on and off the field.

“As soon as the club contacted me, I spoke to Gary Alexander to discuss the situation and I feel comfortable moving forward. I would like to thank Don Crosbie and the board of directors for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to building on the position we are in currently and hope to challenge for promotion at the end of the season.”

Warrilow won promotion to National League South from the Ryman Premier Division during a seven year reign with Tonbridge Angels.

He then went on to manage Cray Wanderers, where he enjoyed further success. Following his appointment in January 2015, he pulled off the great escape, masterminding 10 wins in a row to avoid relegation.

Ashford United chairman Derek Pestridge is clearly delighted to welcome Warrilow back to the club: “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Tommy for agreeing to succeed Gary Alexander as our new manager.

“Tommy is a popular figure, dating back to the Ashford Town days. His name has come up in the past and the demise of Thamesmead Town has allowed us to move quickly to secure his services because many other clubs have also been interested in his services.

“Tommy is impressed by the club’s long-term plans for the future. He will be working with the same budget as Gary and like all supporters, I’m excited to see him back at Homelands.

“Tommy has vast experience, a large network of contacts, and, more importantly, is a very respected figure in Kent football circles.”

Warrilow, a UEFA B licenced coach, played for Millwall and Torquay United professionally as well as abroad in Australia and Finland during his playing career. In Non-League, the former central defender turned out for Crawley Town, Maidstone United, Canterbury City, Gravesend & Northfleet, Tonbridge Angels, Hythe Town, Sittingbourne, Ashford Town, Dartford, Folkestone and Cray Wanderers.

During his two seasons as a player with Ashford Town, in 1995/96 and 1996/97, Tommy made a total of 90 appearances, scoring 17 goals. During the 1995/96 season, he was a key part of the team that finished as runners-up and earned promotion to the Dr Martens Premier League.

Warrilow was also an influential part of the Ashford Town team that enjoyed famous FA Cup runs under manager Neil Cugley. During the 1995/96 season, the club reached the first round proper before losing to Bognor Regis in a replay. The following season saw the Nuts & Bolts reach the second round, before losing at Watford.

Warrilow, who takes charge with immediate effect, will be assisted by his long-term number two Alex O’Brien.

Welcome back, Tommy!