Hampton & Richmond Borough manager Alan Dowson is to go full-time next season.
The club’s new board has shown its faith in him by awarding him a twelve-month rolling contract. He will take up his extended role in July.
It will be Dowson’s first full-time job in football, at the age of 46, after part-time roles at his previous clubs, Walton & Hersham and Kingstonian.
Despite having to say farewell to staff, pupils and parents at Weston Green primary school in Thames Ditton, where he has worked for twenty years, Dowson can’t wait to get started in his new role.
“It’s an ambition I’ve had since I finished as a full-time player,” he said. “Now is the time to change my life. If I hadn’t taken this opportunity, it’s something I feel I would look back on with regret.”
Dowson will use the extra time at his disposal to watch development games and scout for up-and-coming talent. He also aims to help where he can with the Hampton academy and says it will give him more flexibility in meeting potential signings.
“I’ve lost out on people in the past because I couldn’t meet them due to my school commitments,” he added.
Dowson, who is about to start his third season at The Beveree, has achieved promotion with every club he has managed. This past season, he took Hampton to the National League South play-offs.
Last week, he announced the re-signing of player-of-the-year Josh Casey on a two-year contract and is busy negotiating with those he wants to stay, as well as with a number of potential new signings.
Chairman Graham Wood, who leads a consortium that took over the club last week following previous chairman Steve McPherson’s resignation, wants Dowson to focus on improving the squad and mounting a serious promotion challenge.
He said: “Dowse is a popular figure with everyone here. He combines a likeable nature with great determination and a drive to succeed. We want to give him every chance to produce a side that can take us beyond last season’s achievements”.