Blue Square Bet
Published 16th May 2012
.....Gayle as its new, full-time manager at an enjoyable and well-attended formal press conference at Wheatsheaf Park on Tuesday evening.
Over one hundred supporters and interested on-lookers filled the Sports Bar at Wheatsheaf Park to be initially greeted by club chairman Matthew Boon and director Ken Williams, who began by summarising the activities of what had been a short, but intense period of due diligence following the receipt of some forty credible applications for the post, which was brought about as a result of Steve Cordery's resignation which he announced at the Swans end of season presentation night just a little over a fortnight ago.
Amongst the unsuccessful applicants were several ex-Premier League players, numerous experienced managers with former (or indeed current) experience in both the Conference South (and North) and a high number of managers currently in charge of more local sides at step three of the non-league pyramid.
Chairman Boon also added that applications had been received from as far afield as Spain and Portugal and even one had been received from the current coach of an African international side!
However, the successful applicant by quite some distance is the former Premier League star Marcus Gayle, 41, who was introduced to the throng amid much anticipation and excitement.
Following an initial, introductory speech, Gayle was happy to take questions from the floor and was interviewed by the local press, before the formal meeting broke-up and the affable six-footer was able to mingle amongst the assembled throng for a couple of hours of interesting and encouraging chat.
Having been formally appointed, Gayle, who becomes the Swans first ever full-time football manager, will begin work in earnest immediately as he sets about with his plans to re-shape the Swans into a younger and potentially locally-centred team with an aim to improve the league position in the Conference South - which was only secured, of course, just a week before the end of what had been a difficult and disappointing 2011/12 campaign.
With an excellent recent history, coaching the successful youth development and reserve teams at npower League Two club AFC Wimbledon, it is expected that the new Swans boss will use his experience to nurture fresh, young talent whilst also assembling a side that will be competitive at step two.
In addition, working closely with the established and continually successful STFC/Kingston College Academy set-up, (Gayle indeed living in Kingston-upon-Thames,) he will also seek to gain access to many local schools and clubs in the Spelthorne area as a part of the chairman's longer term plan to establish a successful home-grown academy close to the club.
It is fair to say that all assembled were re-ignited and excited by the prospects discussed and presented on the night and the seemingly the new 2012/13 season just cannot arrive quick enough for some!