Beer Albion appoint new management duo as Fishermen prepare for Saturday’s big kick-off

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion FC have appointed Mark Rooke and Alan Potter as co-managers for the 2019/2020 season with the pair taking over from player-manager Richard Walker, who has decided to step down after being at the helm for the past four seasons, writes Richard Honnor.

Richard Walker's wealth of experience as a professional footballer at the top level has been invaluable for the club and the good news is that he will continue as a player along with his son Jamie who has shown great promise in pre-season matches.

Beer first team will continue to play in the Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division having declined an invitation to join the newly formed Devon Football League while the second team will play in Division Two.

As former Beer players, new management new first team management duo Mark and Alan understand the ethos of the club and of its importance to the local village community.

The pair have extensive coaching experience and knowledge of the local football scene.

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Indeed, Mark has done a splendid job at Beer in recent times developing junior players and Alan managed Colyton first team for a period.

The pair will be supported by trainer Jamie Bond (another ex-Beer player) and second team management pairing of Tom Neale and Chris Driver, the latter making a welcome return to the club after coaching soccer in the United States.

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The new management team are very optimistic about the coming season. "We are very pleased with the players at our disposal and are delighted to welcome new signings Charley Skilton, Finley Rooke and Lorcan Hankin," says Rooke.

Also Jack Prior, Jack White and Steve Howe make welcome returns to the club.

Rooke says: "We have a great mixture of youth and experience in both teams along with a lot of excellent footballers. With the second team promoted again it means there are just two divisions between the teams so it should make swapping players between teams that much easier."

Pre-season training has gone exceptionally well and the players are looking fit and ready for the season ahead.

The first team have had six very tough pre-season matches including three against Peninsula League outfits, Axminster, Bovey Tracey and Cullompton. Despite losing these encounters, the Fishermen acquitted themselves well and this helped them to achieve convincing wins in the other three warm-up matches.

As well as on-field preparations, Beer Albion's Committee boosted by new members Emma Westlake, Becky Fowler and Karen Harding have made extensive improvements to the ground and facilities in the close season with the help of funding from the Football Foundation and fro the club's main sponsors, Eden Vale Turf (SW) Ltd.

Beer first team start a new campaign this Saturday (August 17) away at Hatherleigh and the seconds start a week later with an August 24 visit to Otterton.

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