David Parker steps down as first team manager

WebPicDave Parker Pre-season Training Aug 2011

It is with GREAT regret that we have to inform you that the football club has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Dave Parker as the first team manager, after being in post for the past thirteen eventful seasons.

As many of you will all be aware Dave retired from his day job as Rector of Lavant in September 2012, but thankfully decided at the time to carry on as our first team manager. However over the past twelve months as he has settled into retirement and following a move to Southsea in Portsmouth, Dave now feels the time is right to hand-over the first team mangers duties to someone new, allowing him to spend more quality retirement time with his lovely wife Edwina, family and friends.

The past thirteen seasons have been truly eventful, with Dave’s, drive, commitment and passion for football and Lavant, propelling the club from obscurity in Division 5 of the West Sussex League to the Premiership, where we are currently today.

Especially memorable to many current and past players of the club will be Dave’s interesting team talks he gave before, during and after each match involving many props and one that comes to mind is a talk involving with a large beef-tomato and a hammer. These will be truly missed.

Another famous characteristic of Dave is that no matter what the score or the teams perforance, he always focused on the positives.

Looking back, when Dave first took charge of the club we were struggling to field a side in the lower Divisions of the West Sussex League, in debt and not even playing our home fixtures within the village, but actually three miles down the road in Chichester. Lavant Football Club was on their last legs and close to folding.

Using the resources available Dave set about stabilizing the club, introducing regular training sessions and using his experience and knowledge as a fully qualified football coach he started to transform the fortunes of the village football club.

Dave then enlisted the help from organisations and people within the village to support the football team returning to play home fixtures within the village.

With Lavant once more playing football on the village green, support and interest for the club went from strength to strength.

Next a Reserve team was formed and the Sunday team also returned to play at Lavant.

As the number of teams increased more support for better facilities and equipment were required and Dave once again worked hard on and off the pitch to ensure the resurgence of the village football club continued.

During the Centenary Season in 2010, Lavant Football Club fielded four teams.  Two were now playing in the upper Divisions of the West Sussex League. A Sunday team playing in the top Division of the local Chichester & District Sunday League and an Under 18 youth side.

Today we have two senior teams playing in the West Sussex league.

The club is indebted to him for his continued commitment and drive over the years and he goes down a true managerial legend within the club.

Although Dave is stepping down as first team manager, he has agreed to stay on as the club’s Chairman and will still help out behind the scenes to ensure Lavant FC go from strength to strength in the future, as well as attending the odd home game.

With immediate effect assistant manager Stuart Eastwood has agreed to manage the first team with support from Dave over the next few weeks, whilst Stuart has time to put a new management team in place. The Reserve Management team of Martin Pullen and Mel Millburn remains unchanged.

Over the next few weeks we will keep you informed of any announcements as they happen.

All that now remains is to once more thank Dave for being our manager over the past thirteen seasons and to offer Stuart our support going forward and wish him the best of luck as he steps up to manage the first team going forward.