New Wisbech manager Whaley moves quickly to bring Kennelly and Murphy back to the club
New Wisbech Town manager Brett Whaley has moved quickly to bring two popular players back to the club.
Young defender Beckham Kennelly has returned after a very brief spell with St Ives and central midfielder Sam Murphy is back at the club after spending most of the season with Deeping Rangers.
Whaley has also brought in his former assistant at March United, Chris Lenton, as his number two.
"The decision to leave March was extremely difficult. I have a lot of respect and affection for the club and the people there but this was a chance I felt I could not turn down. I was at Wisbech Town before and I did not do myself justice but I learned a lot in my nine months there and I've improved as a manager since."
Whaley said part of the attraction was that the Fenmen are not looking at the appointment as a short term fix. "If it was just 13 games it would not have appealed so much," he admitted.
And on the challenge of keeping Wisbech in the BetVictor Northern Premier League south east division, Whaley said: "We are bottom of the league with 13 games to go but that's 39 points. It is going to be difficult but if I hadn't taken the challenge I'd regret it."
On Beckham and Murphy, he added: "They are both big, strong lads which will help in this league, they are local lads and they want to be at the club. Sam came through the youth team here and Beckham just wants to play football after 15 months out.
"He went to St Ives and didn't get the game time he'd hoped for. I've told them both that we feel we can be very competitive next season and they are both excited about that."
Murphy (27) has made more than 170 appearances for the Fenmen over the last nine seasons and said: “Obviously, it’s a great feeling signing for my home town club. It’s good to be back.
“Of course I know the situation and hopefully I can play a part in helping this team achieve what they set out to do which is to stay at this level. I’m sure the fans will get behind Brett and the boys.”
Kennelly (20) said: “After being out injured for 15 months, I just want to play football and I felt more at home with the Wisbech fans who have been so supportive of me. I want to help my team mates get clear of this relegation battle.”
On assistant Lenton, Whaley said: "Chris left March before Christmas but he was missing football already. It's critical to have someone with me who I trust and work well with, so I'm delighted to have him on board."
Whaley and Lenton are taking training for the first time tonight, with the manager saying: "Sometimes a new manager can give players a boost, performance levels raise a bit and you get a result. Carlton at home on Saturday and Frickley at home next Saturday are both tough games but this is a good squad, despite the league position."
More by this authorJeremy Ransome