Wakeling explains happy Hullbridge u-turn

HULLBRIDE SPORTS assistant-manager, James Wakeling, is delighted to be back with the ambitious Isthmian League outfit.

Wakeling, along with manager, Darren Manning and Goalkeeping Coach, Ryan Frost, tendered their shock resignation from the Lower Road outfit earlier this month, citing internal club politics as the reason behind their departure

However, in a dramatic u-turn following deep discussion with the club committee the trio have returned to their posts, with the assistant boss keen to build on the success already gleaned in taking Sports from the foot of the ESL to the Isthmian League for the first time in their history.

“Yes, it’s a big relief to know that everything got sorted out,” Wakeling told Yellow Sport.

It was a bit of a whirlwind following the conversation we had a couple of weeks previous, but ee are really happy to be back at the club

Wakeling agreed that the management team are now under a little more pressure to achieve, adding: “You could say that. I think we’d achieved more than anyone had expected the first time around. Now, we have gone back so quickly, we have to prove we can build on those foundations, proving a one or two people wrong who believed we had initially left for the wrong reasons.

“It was never a financial reason why we left as some of the rumours suggested. Suggesting we wanted more money and wasn’t happy with the budget was never the case.

“There were a few issues behind the scenes – that has been resolved and a few old faces are back at the club. Some who were here when we initially took charge in the Essex Senior League, along with some new people.

“We now have an opportunity to push on and that is the really exciting part – it’s a new challenge.”

Hullbridge firmly established themselves in the Isthmian League during the last campaign and Wakeling insisted that the bar had now been raised as they look to take the club towards another new level.

“You start the league wanting to win it,” he said.

“Of course, that is very ambitious, but you shouldn’t be involved in football if you don’t want to win the league.

“We will do everything we can to get to the top. Realistically, with the group we’ve got and how we played at times, if we can put together a consistent run of form, then a push towards the play-off places isn’t beyond us.

“I’m an ambitious guy who wants to excel and exceed all expectations from the club and our supporters. I want to win it, but I’d take a play-off place.”

And Wakeling thanked the club committee for their offering their support which he insisted was the inaugural part in their decision to return.

“One hundred per cent. As soon as we’d announced that we were leaving they were on the phone asking us to rethink the decision. Their support brought us back – we thought we owed it to them.

“We had such a great rapport with so many of the people behind the scenes. It was really hard to leave, so to be able to go back and work with them is a huge plus for us.”


Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]