Croydon FC give youth a chance with appointment of Davies

NON-LEAGUE NEWS by Marcus Tyler

Croydon FC have reacted swiftly to the loss of their head coach and his assistant by moving to appoint one of the youngest managers in the South East Counties League.

Craig Davies: new Croydon manager, who has playing experience from Man City, Liverpool and Bournemouth

Craig Davies is 29, but has extensive experience in the game, having played academy football for Premier League clubs Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City, and had a spell playing professionally at Bournemouth and Morecombe.

Davies was a winger for Burscough and Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference North before he played in the United States. He has also played Isthmian League football with Leatherhead, Horsham and Margate.

Croydon made the appointment following the departure to Whyteleafe of Harry Hudson, the coach who guided them to fifth place in the SE Counties League last season.Rather than go outside the club, Croydon have chosen to promote from within: Davies is has been part of the Kinetic Foundation youth set-up since 2014, and last season coached Croydon’s under-18s, while also finding time to turn out for the first team. He holds a UEFA B coaching licence.

The club tweeted: “Croydon FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Craig Davies as their new manager. The club were keen to promote from within to someone who knows the structure, vision and potential of the club in encouraging youth talent.”

Team mate and co-director of Kinetic, James Fotheringham said, “This is Craig’s first step into senior football management and a job he cannot wait to get his teeth into it.”

With funds for player signings likely to be limited, Davies will be expected to use his experience and know-how to bring on the club’s youngsters and develop them into regular first-team players.

“I am really, really excited to continue and build on the good work that the previous management established last season,” Davies said.

“I am a big believer of pushing and playing young players and giving them opportunity to develop and express their potential. Having already worked with Croydon under-18s, I am delighted to be able to keep the conveyer belt of very good young players going.

“This gives the young players a real exit route from youth football into the senior game, which was the case last season and I can’t wait to start in my first senior management position.”

Davies’s first game in charge will be a pre-season friendly against Isthmian League 1 South side Chipstead on July 7.

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