Former March boss Duke joins management team at Wisbech
Former March Town and Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke has joined the management team at Wisbech Town.
Duke, who was sacked from the helm at The Hares in August, teams up again with manager Brett Whaley and assistant Chris Lenton after the trio enjoyed a successful stint together at March.
He will be first team coach, with present incumbent Jonny Pearce replacing Danny Paynter as reserve team manager.
Fenmen manager Whaley told the Citizen: “Jonny has been looking to progress into management for a while, so when this opportunity arose it felt like the perfect fit.
“He knows the club and what we expect as a first team, so he’s the perfect man to run our second string.
“I obviously know Arran well from our time at March together, and we’ve been looking to add another person to the management team for a while.
“He’s has success as a number one at March and was a key part of my management team there. We’ve worked well together before and I think we will do again. I’m really pleased to have him at the club.”
Duke said: “I’m really pleased to be back in the game. It’s been a frustrating period but one I’ve learnt a lot from so I’m looking forward to linking back up with Brett and Chris.
“It’s a great new challenge and one I can’t wait to be a part of. It was great to sit down with Brett and (chairman) Paul Brenchley in the week and discuss the club’s plans and aims and that chat convinced me this was the right move for me.
“There are lots of exciting things planned for the club so I’m looking forward to getting going.
“Being around the group on Saturday, it was clear there’s a great atmosphere around the place so it’s nice to be involved in that environment, plus it’s very nice to be involved in such a role at my home town club.”
The reserves are currently eighth in Division One of the ChromaSport Peterborough League, which is four levels below the first team, who play in the Pitching-In Northern Premier League, and the immediate ambition is to get promotion to the Peterborough Premier.
Pearce said: “I have spent the last three seasons working alongside Brett and Lenny at March and then at Wisbech and before that helping out Luke Hipwell and observing Gary Setchell and Darren Edey so feel I have had a good array of experience, as my time coaching when I was in the Army.
“I spoke to Brett about my intentions of moving into management in the future when I first joined him at March and he told me last week he feels I am ready to take that step and this is the sensible route for me.
“It was a difficult decision as I love working with the first team and it’s full of great lads.”
"but for my own development this is the correct move for me.
“I have had success with Sunday League teams and of course with the walking football but this is a real chance for me to prove myself at a decent level.
“My aim is to continue the progress the reserves have made and get us into the Peterborough Premier Division.
“Having spoken to the chairman, he has exciting plans and this is definitely a place to be involved in so it’s exciting to be here and I can’t wait to get going.
“I now have a couple of weeks to work with the players before we have a game. I have worked with the reserves for a few games last season so the transition should be fairly straight forward.”
Lenton added: “Me and Brett worked with Jonny and Arran before at March so it’s great to welcome Arran to Wisbech and I know we will work well together.”