Boreham Wood have confirmed that Luke Garrard has extended his stay as first-team manager with the Vanarama National League club, signing a new deal that will keep him at Meadow Park until the end of the 2019/20 season, at the very least.
Garrard’s journey with Boreham Wood first began way back in 2005.
A fresh faced 20-year-old player at the time, few expected that he would go on to become such an important part of the club’s history and end up as the youngest manager in the top five divisions.
Even fewer would have guessed that he could now perhaps unrealistically lead the Hertfordshire side into the Football League for the very first time in their history.
As a player, a coach, academy director and first-team manager, Garrard has played a major part in chairman Danny Hunter’s vision, in creating arguably the most successful period in the history of Boreham Wood Football Club.
On the new deal, Garrard told the club`s press officer Craig Draycott: “I have obviously spoken to the chairman at length about it and while my contract wasn’t up until next year, he has extended it further. That shows a belief in me and a belief in what we are doing as a club, so yeah, I am very happy.
“Now probably is our most successful period as a club, for example, beating Blackpool in the Emirates FA Cup First Round this year was an achievement and creating history was massive.
“Moving forward, in terms of sitting sixth currently, with fourteen games left, we have put ourselves in a good position. But, we can’t rest on our laurels, we have to continue doing the hard work and collectively trying to strive on, and then, who knows?
“For me, what makes this club special, is the people within it. I have got to be honest, it is a unique club, it is young, hungry and energetic.
“There are staff in key areas, that are probably – in other people’s eyes – too young to have that role, but at this football club we give opportunities. The chairman promotes from within and I want to repay his faith, and I know the staff all do. Collectively, it is a nice environment to work in.”
The now 32-year-old has progressed from the bottom up at Meadow Park, initially joining from Bishop’s Stortford as a midfielder-cum-defender.
Garrard would go on to become a cult hero at AFC Wimbledon, coupling his playing duties at Kingsmeadow with a coaching role in Boreham Wood’s now famous PASE Academy.
In November 2008, Garrard tore his cruciate ligament during a training session with Wimbledon – an injury that would later have serious implications upon his career.
The injury curtailed his progress with the Dons, and he would later re-join the Wood as a player in 2010.
Just two-years later and Garrard was promoted to academy director, a role he still performs to this day.
In 2013, his incredible rise through the ranks continued, when he was appointed as Ian Allinson’s assistant.
He would help and assist Wood`s promotion into the top tier of non-League football in 2015, before taking over the managerial reigns in October 2015, when Allinson stepped down due to work commitments.
Garrard would complete his extraordinary journey by steering the club away from relegation in their debut season in the National League, although survival was only clinched on the final day of the campaign, with a 3-0 victory away to Welling United.
The Wood have gone from strength-to-strength since Garrard took over and currently have an underdog’s play-off chance and an unlikely promotion into the Football League, which is still seen as very much a pipe dream.
On his ambitions for the future, Garrard continued: “It would be a dream to take this club into the Football League. I have got a history with this football club, I have got a history with the Chairman and the staff here, so yeah to do that would be a dream.
“I believe that it is achievable, and I honestly feel that with the squad that we have got at the minute and with the manner in which we are playing, the way that the club is progressing, on-and-off the field, that it is a realistic underdog’s dream.
“For me, two/three years ago, we were fighting for our lives with our last game of the season at Welling, to now be at the other end of the table, with an opportunity of getting into League Two, it is extremely positive.”
Many were sceptical upon his appointment at just 30-years-old, but none are now, with Garrard entwined into the fabric and history of Boreham Wood, and he will now be entwined within its immediate future too.
Chairman Danny Hunter said: “The extension of Luke’s deal was a very easy decision and took us about 2 minutes to sort out. It is reward for the job he is doing and as usual it was completed with a hug and a handshake.
“Luke is still young, he’s been here a while, but he’s still improving his man management, he’s still improving his decision making, and he’s tactically very good, so he’s doing a great job, and he’s ably assisted by his hardworking management team.
“Across the board, we really do have an incredible workforce and both Luke and the staff have a belief and pride in both the club and it’s work ethic. I’m so proud of what they’re all achieving together and the way they now support each other – that is a key ingredient to the club’s and dressing room’s collective success this season”.
BREAKING NEWS 🚨 | Luke Garrard has agreed a contract extension at Boreham Wood❗️
As a player, a coach, an academy director and the first team manager, Garrard has played a major part in the history of BWFC ⚪️⚫️
— Boreham Wood FC (@BOREHAM_WOODFC) February 15, 2018