Whitley Bay have announced Derek Forrest and Tony Fawcett as joint managers following the departure of Nathan Haslam to Whitby Town on Monday.
The club has acted quickly to make the new appointments and Whitley Bay Chairman Paul McIlduff said “Both are dedicated, experienced managers in the Northern League with tremendous skill sets which the board believe will complement each other. They are aware of the values of Whitley Bay F.C. both being involved in coaching at the club.”
Fawcett joins Whitley from Ryton & Crawcrook Albion where he took a side struggling at the bottom of Division 2 to promotion candidates in the space of three seasons, claiming the scalps of First Division sides Stockton and Ashington in the League Cup in the season just ended and admitted ‘I was really proud of what I achieved there working with some excellent people.’ He is also part of the Whitley Bay FC Juniors safeguarding team and coaches the Under 10’s side.
Looking to the future Tony enthused “I’m really excited about this job, I’ve known Derek for a long time, we get on really well together and it was a no-brainer to accept the job. We’d like to build on what Nathan has put in place over the last year. He’s started to build a really exciting young team and we want to continue with that. There are a lot of good players here and I can’t wait to get working with them. We’re both involved in the Junior teams and I think continuing to build a pathway from the juniors through to the seniors is massively important. I think the youngsters will see that with their coaches becoming managers of the first team. I’m quite a stickler for preparation and I often use YouTube to research opposition players. I’ve been a Whitley fan for a long time and I’ve been watching the videos that you’ve been putting on from the big Vase games.”
Derek Forrest has 35 years of experience in coaching, having spent ten year stints at Newcastle United Academy, Tyne Met College and Newcastle United Foundation before a spell at Northumbria University where he helped take Team Northumbria into the Northern League First Division. He joins Whitley after spending this past season as Assistant Manager and Coach at Newcastle Benfield. He is also Football Development Officer with the Whitley Bay Juniors so like Tony, he knows the club well.
Derek emphasized that the current priority is for everyone to stay safe, but added that the unprecedented circumstances gives some extra time for planning ahead. “It’s great offer, a great challenge and a great club and I think the joint venture with Tony is a good fit as I know him well. We’ve spoken a lot already about the priorities. I think we’re both very forward thinking and open minded and it should be a good positive relationship.” He highlighted the importance of the fans at Hillheads. “Whitley Bay have got a fantastic fanbase and I think this can be added to with some more success.” He also echoed what Tony had said about the value of links between the Juniors and Senior teams.
For more from Whitley Bay please visit their website here