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Toolstation Western Football League

Barum Appoint 22-year-old Boss

Last-minute applicant Tom Bulley has been given the job of turning around Toolstation Western League Premier Division.....

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Published 20th December 2012

Barum Appoint 22-year-old Boss

.....club Barnstaple Town's fortunes on the field.

While chairman Warren Crossley is making progress in improving the club's off-the-field situation, he has entrusted the first team to 22-year-old Bulley – thought to be the youngest manager in the club's history and one of the youngest in non-League football.

Bulley came to North Devon last month after two years coaching young players in the United States.

"My application was last-minute," he said. "November 30 was the deadline and that is when I picked up the phone and thought, 'Why not'."

Bulley, who is living in Bideford, was born in Barnstaple and moved to Exeter with his parents when he was a child.

He said he has been coaching since he was "15 or 16" and worked with Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle before going to America.

Bulley takes over a team seven points adrift at the bottom of the Premier Division table and without a win in the league since August 25th – fourteen matches ago.

He watched the latest defeat, 8-0 at home to Bishop Sutton on Saturday, and took charge at a training session on Tuesday night, which was attended by twenty-four players.

"With a bit of drive and commitment and a bit more passion we can match these teams on what I saw," said Bulley.

"I am a local lad so I am happy to step in and help.

"We want the fans to get behind the team and if they can bring a friend to the game that would be great – the more you can get the better we are going to be on the field."

Bulley has a UEFA `B` coaching licence and Crossley was impressed by his credentials.

The chairman said: "There were certain criteria. One, I needed someone I could work with, second he had to have the same vision, third I wanted somebody who had his coaching badges. He ticks all the boxes. The game has changed and that coaching is essential.

"I don't think age is a problem. We have got a young team and I think he will get the best out of them."