JOHN SUTER has been named Wick & Barnham United Football Club’s new manager in a week of change at the club.
Suter, who was previously manager of Wick from 1974 to 1977, was appointed to the role by new chairman Peter Whittle on Saturday.
Whittle took over as the club’s chairman last week and has brought former Wick manager Carl Stabler back to the club as a director. Former chairman Keith Croft is now the club’s president.
Wes Hallett will be Suter’s assistant manager and Lee Tillyer will continue as a coach.
Suter is looking forward to returning to Crabtree Park and to a club he holds dear to his heart.
He was a player, manager and vice-chairman at the club for 23 years and his last game as manager of Wick was a 1-0 win over Pagham in the final of the Bognor Charity Cup in 1977.
Suter went on to manage at Storrington, Horsham YMCA, Sussex, Worthing United, Littlehampton, Hassocks and most recently Steyning Town, for the last two seasons.
Suter replaces Jon Tucker as Wick & Barnham manager, after Tucker guided the club to promotion from Sussex County League Division 2 and runners-up in the Division 2 Cup last season and then took over at Pagham.
Suter is looking forward to the challenge ahead and said: “It’s nice to be back at Wick. It’s my old club and where it all started for me.
“I played there, managed there, was vice-chairman and I was a life president of Wick Football Club.
“I scored the first Wick goal on the ground and helped build the clubhouse.
“It’s not going to be a cakewalk next season but Keith Croft did a marvellous job to keep the club together in the last few years.
“The club does need a makeover now and, hopefully, Peter Whittle is the man to get that started. Carl is on board as well and he used to play for me and was also assistant manager for a year when I ran the Sussex team.
“I have no idea what players will still be at the club from last season but the objective will be to get Wick back to the club it was.
“Other clubs have a five to six week head start on us, so it’s not going to be easy but I’m looking forward to it.”
On taking over at Wick, Suter said: “When I left Steyning, it was a case of never say never about managing again. I thought I’d just wait and see what happens and it’s nice to be going back to Wick.”
On next season, Suter said: “The main requirement is to not get relegated. I’ve got to make sure we’re still in this division for the following year.
“That’s the starting point and you’ve always got to start off on the bottom rung of the ladder.
“I’ll see what players we can get, strengthen where we can and go from there.”
Whittle said: “Carl and I, in the next three years, want to be in the Ryman League as the club has the potential to be a Ryman League club.
“We need to restructure, so it will be a two or three-year target as, when we get there, we want to be prepared to stay there.”
On appointing Suter as the new manager, Whittle said: “He used to play for the club and we’ve welcomed him back with open arms.
“He’s an experienced manager, knows the club and will do a good job.”
The club welcome new committee members and helpers.
Anyone interested can call Peter on 07710 132273.
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