Season on the mangerial merry-go round for Bluebirds

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

THERE is no doubt that is has been an eventful season at Hardenhuish Park as Chippenham Town perserved their Southern League Premier Division status.

The Bluebirds began their campaign with Nathan Rudge at the helm before he resigned in late August.

His assistant Steve Winter then took charge but his tenure was brought to a premature without him even being at the club.

Having been taken away on a surprise holiday to Egypt for his 40th birthday by his wife, Chippenham crashed to a 9-0 home defeat to Stourbridge at the end of October, the Bluebirds officials promptly organised a board meeting and Winter was relieved of his duties.

The club then appointed former Swindon Supermarine boss Mark Collier to lead Chippenham to safety.

At times it was a struggle for the Bluebirds, but they achieved their aim and will be looking for a quieter campaign next season.

Collier accepts he’s only been able to take small steps forward since he and assistant Tom Jones arrived in November but has targeted a summer of progress to help the team hit the ground running in the 2014-15 season.

“It’s certainly a big football club and it’s needed some pulling together,’’ said Collier. “We’ve started to do that in bite-size pieces and set ourselves attainable objectives.

“Everyone is trying to progress the club and move it forward. In terms of the team, that means we need to add some experience to the squad for next season.’’ The Bluebirds will also look back on the campaign with a touch of sadness after midfielder Rob Dean suffered a horrific knee injury.

The former Supermarine player has been told by doctors that is unlikely to play again, but he has not given hope of proving them wrong.

He said: “It’s so far away anyway, so there was no point in really thinking about it. I want to get myself walking and month-by-month, set myself little targets.

“Then you never know – people have proven surgeons wrong and hopefully, down the line, I can be one of them. Never say never.”

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