Rob Dray has committed to carrying on managing Taunton Town when the new Southern League season kicks off.
A member of the club’s management team since the 2016, Dray guided the Peacocks to the runners-up spot in their first season at Southern League Premier Division level after taking charge as head of football in September 2018.
His side were pushing for promotion from the Southern League’s Premier South and a play-off spot when the coronavirus wrecked the season in March before it was subsequently abandoned and expunged.
Dray told fans he is delighted to be staying on at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium for another go as his squad returned to training with the help of club’s educational partners at Bridgwater & Taunton College.
— Taunton Town FC (@TauntonTownFC) July 22, 2020
The Peacocks have been using the facilities at the college’s Bridgwater campus and Dray said: “It has always been an honour to represent this great club and in these uncertain times when there are more important things occurring.
“We hope as a management team and group of players that on the return of Non-League football we can provide a little normality for our fantastic supporters. For me personally I’d like to thank the chairman and the rest of the Board for letting me continue our journey. I have the best job in Non-League football in the area, fact!
“Continuing to evolve on and off the pitch in every capacity as always is our priority and hard work is an absolute must and something that never frightens me. We have a great looking squad this year and now we have a degree of clarity we can look forward to getting going and seeing you all at the Cygnet very shortly.”
Taunton Town chairman Kevin Sturmey said: “I am delighted that Rob and the Board have agreed terms for next season. It may seem strange to some people to announce it now but it was simply because Rob wanted to concentrate on building the squad first and with all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic it was something we felt, while very important, was just a matter of dotting i’s and crossing t’s.
“We now have agreed the terms for Rob, and we are excited for him and the squad to get going when it is safe to do so. There won’t be many harder working people in football than Rob, he has a great network of contacts and probably could have put together three squads this summer!
— Taunton Town FC (@TauntonTownFC) July 24, 2020
“One thing people never see is how much work Rob does both before and after the season. In general, he will do eight more weeks than anyone else, four weeks before the season and four weeks after.”
He added: “He is working on the same budget as last season but, like the whole world, we need to be fluid in our thinking. We need to be able to continue growing our fan base to help fund us so, ideally, we need fans with no restrictions when it is safe to start.”
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