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Barum Bid to Improve Community Links

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Managerless Toolstation Western League Premier Division club Barnstaple Town have appointed a new community development manager.

Lee Smith has taken on the voluntary role with the aim of improving the club’s links with schools, colleges and youth football.

He stepped forward to help after the recent public meetings at Mill Road, when the future of the club was in the balance.

A long-time Barnstaple supporter, Smith lives in the town and works as deputy head of boarding at a school in Crediton. He hopes to increase the club’s profile in Barnstaple, particularly among young players and potential supporters.

“Originally I volunteered for the fundraising aspect but it became increasingly apparent that links to the community are equally important,” said Smith.

“It’s not just about producing players, it’s about increasing people coming through the gate as well.”

The future of the club has looked more positive since the appointments of Warren Crossley as chairman and Lorna Childs as commercial manager.

“I have been going since 1980 and I have seen the thin and thin times of Barnstaple Town,” said Smith.

“If Warren and Lorna hadn’t come forward, with the things that were being revealed to us supporters at the meeting, it was not far off closure.

“Since they have come in, there is a renewal of ideas.

“At the moment I’m going through a research process, looking at what needs to happen in the coming months and years. It is very much in its infancy. It’s not a quick fix in any sense.”

Chris Jones, the caretaker-manager, is set to continue in charge for tomorrow`s scheduled home game against Radstock Town.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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