Former Exeter City man lands top job at Sidmouth Town...

SIDMOUTH Town have filled the gap left by the resignation of Josh Stunell in mid-May by appointing Richard Pears as the new first team manager at Manstone Road.

Pears, who played 60 times for Exeter City in the mid 1990s, has previously managed Exmouth Town in two separate spells and also held the reins at Cullompton Rangers, The Royal Marines and had a brief seven week stint in the dug out of Sidmouth’s South West Peninsula league Division One neighbours Axminster Town during the closed season in 2015. Most recently the 41-year-old has been in the dug out at Barnstaple Town for six months in Evo-Stik South West Division before his resignation from the post in December.

Vikings chairman Andy Argyle issued the following statement: “Sidmouth Town AFC is delighted to announce that Richard Pears has been appointed 1st Team Manager with immediate effect. Richard is an experienced and successful manager and coach with a background in Western League football. He will bring in coaching staff who have played alongside him and who have also played many times for Sidmouth Town. His emphasis will be on blending youth with experience to develop a strong and loyal squad designed to move the club forward and challenge for honours.

“The chairman and committee are very much looking forward to working with Richard to achieve his and their shared ambitions for Sidmouth Town Football Club.”

The club also released a statement from Pears: “I am delighted to accept the first team manager’s position at Sidmouth Town Football Club. Sidmouth is a fantastic up and coming club and with four senior teams and a vibrant youth system, I cannot wait to be part of the current management team where there is an ethos of developing and growing local based players to play at the highest level possible.

“I am also pleased to announce that Kevin Tooze and Gary Carpenter will assist me with all managerial duties and having two energetic, experienced and knowledgeable people around me that have played most of their careers at Western League level is a huge bonus for me and the club.

“What is clear already is that the club has a brilliant chairman and committee, who have very much made me feel welcome and I cannot wait to get started.

“My first aim is to retain as many of the current squad as possible and to bring in some experienced players that can also support our local young players. Anyone who knows me, will know that we will have an organised, strong team this year and I have told the club that my aim is to finish in the top six for this season.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.