FC United of Manchester is delighted to announce that Neil Reynolds has been appointed first team manager – Reynolds joins us from Bamber Bridge and will take charge of the first team after our away trip to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.
We wanted a manager with managerial experience, especially one who can manage on a part-time basis and within the constraints of our playing budget. We wanted someone who has experience in coaching, and with the relevant UEFA coaching qualifications. Someone who is well connected in the non-league world and someone that is prepared to work within our current club structure. We wanted someone who can bring that something extra. We wanted someone with ambition.
We believe we have found the right person in Neil Reynolds.
Reynolds, aged 41, has been around the non-league circuit for 25 years as a player, coach, assistant manager and manager. The former Darwen, Clitheroe and Bamber Bridge midfielder served as Assistant Manager for five years under Neil Crowe at Bamber Bridge, before being promoted to first team Manager in December 2016, leading his side to NPL Cup success the following April.
In his first full season as Manager at Bamber Bridge he helped them gain promotion to the Northern Premier League via the play-offs, after finishing fourth in the league behind South Shields, Scarborough Athletic and Hyde United. This season, despite having the lowest playing budget in the league, he has only lost three league games in twelve.
Neil has a full-time job as Headmaster at South Shore Academy in Blackpool. He has a UEFA B coaching badge and puts a strong emphasis on squad fitness, using the latest technology to track progress. Above all, he’s young, hungry and ambitious. Although his task for this season is to keep us up, next season he believes FC United should be challenging for promotion to the National League.
Neil said ”I am absolutely delighted to accept the first team manager role at FC United. The opportunity to manage such a prestigious club was too good of an offer to turn down. The journey that the club has been on over the last 13 years has been incredible.
“I have watched from afar but at the same time knowing that the fans are arguably the best set I have witnessed outside of the football league. Your support cannot and will not be taken for granted. You deserve far more success starting by retaining our position in the National League North this season. I have been impressed with everything I have heard and seen behind the scenes which is a credit to everyone connected to this wonderful club. I see this as a major opportunity to put a smile back on peoples faces and ensure that I steer the club in the right direction. I am looking forward to seeing all the fans at Broadhurst Park against Brackley on 27th October.
“We are all in this together and I am certain we will enjoy the ride!!”
As a player, Neil joined North West Counties League side Darwen in 1993 before joining Football League side Plymouth Argyle in the 1994-95 season. He returned north in 1995 and spent three and a half years back at Darwen before joining Bamber Bridge in 1998.
He then moved on to Kendal Town for a short spell in 1999-00 before joining Clitheroe where he enjoyed five successful years. Whilst at Clitheroe, Neil played in both legs of the Semi-Final of the FA Vase in 2000-01 against Western League side Taunton Town. He was a key member of the Clitheroe side that lifted the North West Counties League title in 2003-04 and scored the winning goal in the closing minutes of the game at Nantwich Town to earn his side promotion to the Northern Premier League.At the age of 28, Reynolds also became player-coach at Clitheroe before finishing his playing career at Bamber Bridge.
As supporters may have read elsewhere, Reynolds signed a 3-year contract at Bamber Bridge in May 2018. We would like to put on record our sincere thanks to Bamber Bridge Chairman, Frank Doyle, who gave us permission to speak to Neil and agreed to release him from his contract for a fee that is satisfactory to both clubs.
FC United Board Member Adrian Seddon added; “I would like to thank the FC United supporters for their patience over the last six weeks. It was important that we took our time over this appointment to ensure we brought in the right man. We have been really impressed with Neil and his approach, and we’re delighted to welcome him to our football club. I’m sure our fans will give Neil a warm reception at our next home match against Brackley Town on Saturday 27th October at Broadhurst Park.”
On behalf of everyone at the club, we would also like to thank David Chadwick, Jack Doyle and Tom Conroy who have been looking after our first team affairs following the resignation of player-manager Tom Greaves at the end of August. In the nine games with Dave Chadwick as caretaker manager we have won two and drawn three. Chaddy has also taken decisive action bringing in several new and loan players to strengthen the squad.
Further details regarding the first team coaching set up will be announced in due course.