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Luke Who's Coming To Town

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed a new face in the crowd in the stand for our past few games.

Luke Hyam has been appointed as First Team Manager with current player, Billy Clark, as his assistant.

Local lad Luke will, of course, be known for his time with Ipswich Town. He started out in the academy set up before making over 130 appearances, as a professional, for the first team. Luke played under the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Jewell and Mick McCarthy at Ipswich whilst also spending almost a month on loan at Rotherham and finishing his career at Southend United. It was there that he sustained the back injury that eventually forced him to retire.

Club Chairman Adam Dalby is obviously pleased as punch with the appointment.

It was a pleasant surprise when Luke made contact with the club via Glenn Snell, shortly after the vacancy was announced. He seemed to be a great fit for the club from the get go and we were even more confident after meeting on several occasions.

Has it been a long process, the club has been without a first team manager since the end of November?

It has but we make no apology for that. These are important decisions which the club committee and myself take our time over. The managerial vacancy was not planned, so we had a cold start on the recruitment process. We took our time to gather details of all interested parties.

Another reason we didn't have to rush is because of the great support that remained in the club. Glenn Snell has done an amazing job during the process alongside Dave Bowman, Simon Fryatt and Carl Shemmings, who have stepped up to support as the club plans its transition into next season.

I am delighted that the recruitment of Luke and Billy Clark, as his assistant, will work in conjunction with Glenn. If you cut Glenn in half he'd bleed black and white, and it was essential that the management team we brought in added to the great work he has been doing.

What else does Luke bring to the table?

First and foremost Luke brings experience of playing at the highest levels in football. This experience will be invaluable to our young squad, his energy and positivity as well as professionalism will be great to have around the club.

Fresh ideas and new contacts are always great for teams at our level and will build towards out club goals. This will be Luke's first step in football management and I'm overjoyed that he is making that step with Woodbridge Town.

Luke has been at the past few home games and we caught up with him after Saturday's match;

It seems a while since you 'hung up your boots'. What have you been doing in a football capacity since then?

Unfortunately I had to retire earlier than I would have liked, but you have to move on and look to the future and try new opportunities, taking yourself out of your comfort zone. I always planned to play non league football towards the back end of my career to play with friends and enjoy it as much as possible, Since I've retired I've done a bit of commentary with Brenner on BBC Radio Suffolk which I've really enjoyed. After taking a couple of years out of football I've started to enjoy watching it again after falling out of love with the game.

Have you always had management in your sights and what attracted you to the Woodbridge job?

As I said; I wanted to play local non league football with the potential of going into management at that level.

It never really appealed to me to go into coaching or management professionally, I feel I'd enjoy it and get more out of it locally. I'm really excited about the opportunity to come into Woodbridge as manager, the infrastructure is superb. The club want to build on that and Billy and myself want to come in and be a part of that going forward. It feels like a real family club with plenty of potential.

You've played under some managers with big personalities. What can we expect from your management style?

First and foremost I want to come in and make it enjoyable for everyone. I'll be both approachable and honest with the players. The hardest part of football can be to get players on side, so I want to ensure the players enjoy their football and look forward to joining up with all the lads. I want to make it a 'feel good' place.

Have you met the players yet?

I met the players a few weeks ago and have watched a few games which looked really promising. I think there is a lot of quality in the team and keeping this squad together is important, as well as adding 3-4 players in the summer.

When can we expect to see you in the dug out?

I'll be starting officially in the close season and can't wait to get my teeth into it.

So there you have it. Just 8 more league games remain this season and whilst we have some tough matches ahead of us, if they are anything like the weekend victory supporters will have a lot to look forward to before the excitement of next season begins.

Luke and The Management Team will be sponsored by TeleQuest Voice Services for the 2022-23 Season

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