The worst-kept secret in non-league football is out as Yaxley FC have today (April 4) confirmed the re-appointment of Brett Whaley as first-team manager.
Whaley’s return to In2itive Park was seen as inevitable once he quit his managerial post at Wisbech Town on the same day (March 31) as Yaxley parted company with their manager Ian Benjamin.
Whaley surprised many United Counties Premier Division followers when he left Yaxley for Wisbech last summer. Andy Furnell, who managed Yaxley in their 2-2 draw with Deeping Rangers on Saturday (April 2), will work as Whaley’s assistant.
Yaxley president, Jeff Lenton, told the club website: “Brett has made it abundantly clear to the club that he made a big mistake in leaving us to join Wisbech Town. At a meeting of committee members and sponsors, Brett was seriously grilled for more than 90 minutes and to his credit gave an good account of himself, historical events and future ambitions. If he hadn’t he wouldn’t be back. Andy Furnell is very happy to work with Brett and it’s a partnership that we as a club are confident has a good chance of success.
“Brett has come back with a renewed hunger and a much tougher attitude that we trust will give us a positive run-in for the end of this season. We also intend to send strong signals about our intentions for the future. We’re delighted to bring Brett back into the fold and extremely grateful to Ian Benjamin for taking on a very difficult job, as he won a lot of friends here at In2itive Park and will always be welcomed back.”
Whaley added “It’s been a very busy few days, but I’m delighted to be back and that everything has been resolved so quickly. Leaving the club was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make and a decision that didn’t work out. I feel I’ve learnt a lot this season, and I’m really determined to have success here. The club has continued to grow in the short time I’ve been away and the next few weeks are really important in preparing for next season. I can’t wait to get started.”
Whaley starts his second stint in charge of ‘The Cuckoos’ with a Premier Division game at Northampton Spencer tomorrow (April 5), who are one place above Yaxley in 12th.
Holbeach United’s title challenge in the Premier Division has died, partly because of the sheer weight of their playing schedule, but they could still affect the destination of the trophy as tomorrow they travel to second-placed AFC Kempston Rovers.
It’s the first of 11 league games The Tigers must play before the end of a season that is just 27 days away.
Deeping are ninth and host fifth-placed Sleaford tomorrow, while Peterborough Northern Star play their first game under new manager Raff Mazzarella when they entertain Kirby Muxloe at Chestnut Avenue.
Mazarella has moved quickly to bring successful Bourne Town manager Steve Wilson to Chestnut Avenue as his number two, although Wilson will stay at the Abbey Lawns until the end of the season.
Wilson has been a huge success at Bourne, steering them to fifth in Division One of the United Counties League. He runs his own business though and can only commit to being a number two next season.
Wilson worked under Mazarella at Bourne earlier this season.
There’s Peterborough League action tomorrow and leaders Moulton Harrox will expect to go 20 points clear at the top of the Premier Division with a home victory over Stilton United.
Third-placed Peterborough Sports Reserves are also in action at city rivals AFC Stanground.
On Wednesday (April 6) there is the first PFA Final of the season as holders Parkway defend their Sunday Senior Cup trophy against Stanground at Chestnut Avenue (7.30pm).
And March Town United Reserves tackle Wisbech St Mary in a repeat of last season’s North Cambs Junior Cup Final at Wisbech Town FC (7.30pm). Wisbech St Mary are the holders.
Monday, April 4
Northern Premier Division: Stourbridge v Stamford.
Tuesday, April 5
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Premier Division: Deeping Rangers v Sleaford Town, Northampton Spencer v Yaxley, Peterborough Northern Star v Kirby Muxloe, AFC Kempston Rovers v Holbeach United.
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE
Premier Division (6.30pm): AFC Stanground v Peterborough Sports Res, Moulton Harrox v Stilton United.
Division One (7.15pm): Spalding United Res v Sutton Bridge United.
Division Two (6.30pm): Leverington Sports Res v Netherton United ‘A’, Whittlesey Athletic ‘A’ v Thorney Res.
Wednesday, April 6
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES PETERBOROUGH LEAGUE
Division One (6.30pm): Whittlesey Athletic Res v Netherton United Res.
Division Two (7,45pm): Oakham Res v Spalding Town.
Division Four (6.30pm): FC Peterborough v Parkside. Daniels Cup: Stamford Lions v Uppingham Town.
PFA SUNDAY SENIOR CUP FINAL
(7.30pm): Parkway v AFC Stanground (Chestnut Avenue).
NORTH CAMBS JUNIOR CUP FINAL
(7.30pm): March Town United Reserves v Wisbech St Mary (Wisbech Town FC).