Redhead given second shot at United job

By Ian Dipple 11/05 Updated: 12/05 00:47

Buy photos » Simon Redhead (left) and Asa Charlton (right) have been unveiled by chairman Chris Swan as Redditch United's new management team. Picture by Marcus Mingins 2012002MMR2.

REDDITCH United has unveiled its new management team which chairman Chris Swan quickly labelled his 'perfect blend'.

Simon Redhead will take over in the Valley Stadium hot-seat following Graham Hyde's departure and will be joined by Reds' favourite Asa Charlton who will take charge as assistant manager as well as playing an active role on the pitch. A coach to work with the first team and youth set-up will be appointed shortly.

It is Redhead's second spell in charge at the club after he was appointed in February last year by former chairman Ken Rae, at a time when the playing budget had been axed, there were only five first team players and the side struggling in the Conference North. He was dismissed at the end of the season by Swan having failed to win a single game after 15 matches in charge.

Over the last 12 months he has been scouting for a number of clubs and insists with the club now financially stable, the fans will see what the real Simon Redhead can do.

"The fans probably felt I wanted and needed an opporunity on a level playing field and when we were in the Blue Square North that wasn't the case, we were competing with clubs with significant budgets, so it's a very different set of circumstances now and people will judge from this point onwards and what we achieve as a management team," Redhead said.

"When the call came I had no hesitation in accepting. Myself and Chris have kept in constant dialogue throughout the season and it was a big credit to Chris to pick up the phone. It shows what Chris thought about me and me about him.

"Our brief is very much pushing for the play-offs this year. We have a competitive budget and that's very much a realistic achievement. What is important is to get the right sort of players in high calibre candidates and get them together to get a good competitive team. Between Asa and myself we know an awful lot of players and we are working hard to do that."

Swan said when he took over the club was in freefall but with stability now secure on and off the pitch he was confident they would avoid the chopping and changing at the start of last season which saw 82 players brought into the club before Christmas alone and two management shake-ups.

"The time is right now for Simon to come back with the infrastructure and the climate and the management we have created and take over the reins and take the club forward," he said.

"In Asa I have seldom met someone with his enthusiasm. He is a man who will lead by example as assistant manager and inspire our young players on the pitch."

"I'm not proud of what happened in terms of some of the changes which happened in the early part of the season but against the background of what I call the falling knife syndrome, we were fire fighting. We haven't fire fought since Christmas. We are stable off the field, we are stable on it and I really want to do something with these guys going on into the future."

The new management team is set to sit down with the current playing squad over the next couple of weeks to discuss their futures but Swan said all options were open and did not rule out a return for Lee and Stuart Hendrie next season.

"If it fitted within the budget then everything is open. Certainly there is a lot of good will between the club and Lee and Stuart and they both played a key role in the last six games of last season in terms of making sure we survived."

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