RUGBY TOWN: Manager Stringer looking forward to challenge ahead

Dave Stringer
Dave Stringer

Former boss returns for second spell at Valley after two years at Chasetown

Following the resignation of manager Gary Moran last week, Rugby Town have turned to a familiar face for his replacement with Dave Stringer returning to the Valley helm two years on from his last spell in the role.

Stringer had a four year stint in the Butlin Road hot seat before the two parties split by mutual consent at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.

The one-time Valley midfielder has spent the last two seasons in charge of NPL Division One South Chasetown, but he returns to Town to take on the task of restoring the club to step four of the non-league football pyramid following Rugby’s recent relegation from the same division.

The new boss reflected on his decision to make the switch back: “I’ve enjoyed my time at Chasetown, but for various reasons I just felt it was time for a fresh start for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I had five good seasons here previously and this is probably the only club that I would have dropped down a level to manage, as I have such a strong affection for it.”

Stringer originally joined Town as assistant to Martin Sockett in 2010, ahead of taking over the reins for the following season. In his four years as manager, Valley twice finished Southern League Division One Central runners-up before subsequently missing out on promotion in the play-offs both times, whilst also recording two other sixth place finishes.

He continued: “It’s disappointing what has happened here since I left, but I’m really focused on getting the team winning again and putting a smile back on people’s faces.

“There seems to have been a lack of continuity and a huge turnaround of players and this has caught up on the club. Hopefully I can correct this and guide the club back on an upward path again.”

With Town still waiting to hear whether they will be competing in the Midland Football League or the United Counties League in 2017/18, Stringer explained that he has no real preference where they end up.

He said: “I’ve committed to be here whatever league we are playing in. It doesn’t really matter which one it is to be honest, the important thing is that we put together a team capable of winning games and being contenders for promotion.

“The massive job I have now is persuading players to play at this level of the pyramid. Fortunately the facilities and infrastructure here will help, but it will still be a big challenge to convince players that Rugby Town is the place for them next season.

“I’ve already been busy with this activity. There are certainly some of last season’s squad that I would like to stay, but of course I will be looking to bring in others. I saw a number of the club’s games last season and whilst there was certainly no lack of effort, at the end of the season the table rarely lies and we finished in the bottom two.”

Town Director Neil Melvin welcomed the returning manager back to Butlin Road: “We’re happy to have Dave back on-board. He provides us with the experience we were looking for with this appointment and he knows the club very well too.

“Likewise we also know what he is capable of. He built a very successful squad during his time here previously and we are confident that he can achieve this again this time round.”

# Following the retirement of the previous incumbent Mick Bird after many years sterling service, the club are looking for a new Kit Man for next season. Any interested parties should contact the club at rugbytownfc@melbros.com or on 01788 866920