Hallmark Security League Premier Division club Widnes have announced that Steve Akrigg and Kevin Towey have been appointed as joint-managers following the departure of Joey Dunn.
Akrigg has been promoted from his role as interim manager and will work in a joint capacity alongside team-mate Towey, beginning with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Northwich Victoria.
First-team coaches Nick Matthews and Paul Jones, goalkeeper coach Gaz Hartley and physio Ron Cook will stay at the club and form the duo’s backroom staff.
Both made significant contributions to last season’s First Division title-winning campaign as players.
Akrigg joined the club in November 2016 from Skelmersdale United, making a telling contribution defensively as Widnes only lost one league game afterwards with Akrigg in the side.
Towey is the club’s record goalscorer, having netted 41 times in fifty-six appearances following his move from Barnton earlier that year.
Both will retain their playing roles going forward.
Chairman Ian Ross said: “We have had some tremendous applicants for the post which really shows how far the club has come over the last twelve months or so, and we would like to thank everyone who took time out to show interest in working with us.
“Once we became aware that Kev and Ste wanted to have a crack, we had no hesitation in giving them the job.
“The Board have been really impressed by both since they’ve been at the club, even more so during this period of uncertainty.
“We felt that there wasn’t much that needed fixing, and the support that the current players have shown the lads over the last week has made the decision an easy one.
“There is an awful lot happening in and around the club at the moment. This appointment and the continuity it brings to the club will be invaluable.”
Towey said: “I want to relay our thanks to the Board for giving us this opportunity. We’re looking forward to giving it our best efforts and we feel that it’s one we can make a success of.
“Throughout the league, young managers have often been given a chance to cut their teeth. I can think of five or six who have achieved success over recent years.
“With both of us believing we still have something to offer on the playing side (Ste once fit), it was important that we retained much of the existing backroom staff as we could for several reasons with continuity and experience being big factors.
“To have Nick Matthews, Paul Jones and Gaz Hartley all agree to stay on board and assist us is a massive plus for both of us and also the club in relation to our ambitions going forward.
“The work that has been completed over the last year or so means that we are extremely lucky to have the existing squad at our disposal. It gives us a great starting point.”
Akrigg echoed Towey’s comments, targeting success with a group of players they believe are capable of pushing on to the next level. He said: “We are delighted to have been given our first opportunity in management. We’ve always spoke together about taking steps into management, and although it’s probably sooner than expected, this is the perfect club for us.”
“We’d like to thank the Board for giving us this opportunity and we will now look to bring in our own ideas and personnel into a side that we feel can push towards the top of the table.
“Having been a part of the dressing room for the last year or so, we know we have a group of players capable of pushing on to the next level.
“It is now up to myself, Kev and the rest of the backroom staff to get the best out of the players in order to achieve our objectives going forward”.
???? We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey as joint managers.
— Widnes Football Club (@Widnes_FC) October 6, 2017