THE new manager of Henley Town Football Club has vowed to “bring back the good times” to the club.
Cyril Fairchild became the fourth boss at the club in just over a year after replacing Roy Hanley, who stepped down at the end of the season.
The 45-year-old had been at league rivals Woodley Town for the past five years following a stint as a player.
After winning the Reading League Senior Division in 2009, he guided the club to its highest ever league position by finishing third in the Hellenic League Division 1 East last season.
Fairchild, who lives in Reading and works as a sales manager, decided to move on because his former club did not have the facilities, including floodlights, to get promoted whereas Henley does.
He said: “I’ve left a big, strong side but each year these players can move on because they want to play at a higher level.
“I felt it was the right time to move on. Henley has been going for a long time and although it has gone through some bad times the idea now is I want to see the potential.
“They’ve got their own pitch and clubhouse and all it needs is tidying up. If we can get a team which competes at the highest level then hopefully we can get promoted.”
Fairchild, who said he left Woodley on good terms, will try bring his former players to his new club.
He will also be speaking to the current crop of the Lilywhites squad and has promised to give them all a chance to prove themselves in pre-season.
Fairchild, who will bring his assistant manager Craig Hiscock, said: “With the backing of the players we can hopefully bring back the good times to Henley.
“I don’t know what the reasons are for why they haven’t done well over the last few years but it’s history.
“What I want to do is build a team, get facilities up to scratch and get people down to watch. Henley is a big town.”
Woodley beat Henley, who finished bottom of the league with just seven points, 3-0 and 3-2 in the final month of the season and Fairchild said he was impressed with what he saw.
He said: “When we played Henley they actually gave us two good games and they had some good players. The manager realised they needed better players in to make the team stronger.
“The reason why they were so poor before that was because they had a very young team. You need experience in this league.
“I know what sort of team I need to compete in this division and I’m pretty confident Henley will do well next year.”
The youth team is to be disbanded but it will be replaced by a reserve side that will play in the Reading League Senior Division, including players that will be ready to step up to the first team when needed.
They will train together on land next to the Triangle ground that is to be flattened and in Woodley during the winter.