The football club would like to announce that Ernie Batten has today become the Director of Football here at Sheppey United FC. Ernie has guided the football club from Step 6 to Step 4 amassing a huge trophy collection along the way as first team manager however he felt now the time was right to make the step upstairs. His experience will be invaluable to the new incoming First Team Manager and we grabbed a word with Ernie and Chairman Matthew Smith.
Ernie said – “I have been speaking to my family about this move for a while now and coupled with some family business I felt now was the right time to join Matt in the boardroom. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as first team manager and hopefully like me you have enjoyed the journey we have been on over this past 6 years, with a few trophies thrown in along the way. I will not be a stranger at the club and will support the new manager as he comes into this fantastic club. I have mixed emotions about this move and whilst its needed to enable me to dedicate more time to my personal life I am also excited about being involved in the development of our very own overarching football plan for the future of Sheppey United FC, from youth to first team.”
Matthew Smith said “I am lost for superlatives when describing Ernie’s time as first team manager here at The Total Power Stadium, from walking into a team that all left at Step 6 to lifting the league title last season at Step 5 his vast experience of non-league football has enabled this club to fulfil its ambition and beyond. When Ernie and I first spoke we dreamt of being in the old Kent League yet here we are today about to embark on our inaugural season in the Isthmian League, an achievement both Ernie and I still just look at each other and smile about. All of this was down to Ernie and the coaching staff and players he brought to the club, Ernie should have been given the keys to the island for the trophy hall he netted last season but alas he has decided that the time is now right for him to join me in the boardroom as our director of football.
I know like me you supporters will be shocked by the timing but the new player manager has been working alongside Ernie now for a while and in Jack Midson we have the perfect replacement for Ernie, with almost identical playing philosophies. I know Jack will never be able to have the effect on the club Ernie has, however I feel confident that Jack will create his own memories for us all at the club and I look forward to welcoming Jack who will do an interview with us soon to discuss his plans for his coaching staff etc. I would like to go on record one last time and say thank you to Ernie not only personally for everything but for creating so many memories along the way in this past six years of working together as Chairman and First Team Manager. From laughing at being 12 points off top spot in September 2015 to winning promotion and the Kent Senior Trophy that very same season and then the obligatory celebratory trip to Dubai and Thailand with our families straight after. Fantastic memories that were actually topped again this past season with what he achieved for the entire Island by bringing a Step 5 league title home for the first time in 27 years.
Thank you for everything now let’s get that fridge stocked in the boardroom and not too much water!!”
As a club we cannot thank Ernie enough for everything he has achieved and done for our football club and we will grab him for an interview in the coming days along with new player manager Jack Midson. I am sure you are all desperate to hear from Jack but we will keep him under wraps for a little while longer as he gears his team up for our opening competitive fixture of the season.
Lets get behind Jack in his first game against Athletic Newham FC this coming Saturday as we start the season in the FA Cup, how many can we take to the Terence McMillan Stadium to show Jack how welcome he is at the club.