Guisborough Town are delighted to announce the appointment of their highly successful former Under-23 Development Manager Gary Forster as their new manager.
Gary, 38, impressed enormously during his tenure at the helm of the Development Side at the KGV over four successive seasons between 2011 and 2016.
Middlesbrough-born Gary left Guisborough’s Development Side a few months ago to take up an important new recruitment role with Darlington Football Club to improve the club’s Reserve, Under-17 and Under-18 sides. .
But the opportunity to return Guisborough and step up as First Team Manager was just too exciting an opportunity to miss for Gary, who has become a hugely popular personality at the KGV over the past few years.
Gary enjoyed phenomenal success with the Development Side, guiding them to every possible honour available for them to compete for. His record was outstanding and after finishing runner-up in league and cup competitions in his first season he followed that up with a hat-trick of league championship wins and numerous cup final wins.
Apart from all of this amazing success, Gary became deservedly recognised for the numerous young players he developed into first team regulars such as Andy ‘Rio’ May, Curtis Round, Connor Smith and Paul Blake to name but a few.
Gary is under no illusions about the huge challenge ahead of trying to keep Guisborough in the Ebac League Division One, particularly bearing in mind the team’s recent record of only two victories in the last 15 games.
He said: “Clearly it’s going to be a massive challenge – probably the toughest I have ever had in football – but I will give it my total commitment and endeavour to try to turn things around at this super club. I hope that in time I will be able to replicate the success with the senior team that I enjoyed with the Development Side.”
Typically, Gary also paid warm tribute to his predecessor Steve ‘Dowlo’ Dowling, who resigned as manager two weeks ago with the Priorymen languishing bottom of the league after a wretched run of form compounded by the loss of many key players through injuries and transfers to other clubs.
Gary said: “Dowlo did everything he could turn things around but in the end the twin handicaps of injuries and transfers out of the KGV proved just too much.”
Gary has already added to his managerial team by bringing back former Town player Lee Farrington on to the coaching staff and he will also retain the services of bright young coach Chris Fairless, who has done an admirable job as caretaker manager since Dowlo’s departure.
And Gary also plans to take steps as quickly as possible to strengthen his squad, adding: “We are certainly a bit thin on the ground to say the least with recent transfers of players to other clubs and the continuing injury situation – so as soon as I have evaluated all options I will be looking to recruit new players.”
Guisborough Town Chairman Don Cowan commented: “There has been tremendous interest in our vacancy for new manager which is a tribute in itself to the standing of our club and in deciding to give the job to Gary Forster we already know we have got a first class new man indeed at the helm.
“He is extremely knowledgeable about the game, well qualified on the coaching side and is naturally very enthusiastic about tackling the challenge of keeping Guisborough Town in Division One of the Ebac Northern League.
“He did a truly tremendous job with our Development Side and surpassed all our expectations in what he achieved. We know he will go about restoring the good fortunes of Guisborough Town with all the determination that he has already demonstrated in abundance.
“He will be given our fullest support and backing in the months ahead in the hope of us avoiding relegation and we have every confidence in him giving his all to try and achieve just that,” added Don.
Guisborough’s next game is at home to Newcastle Benfield next Saturday, 10 December (KO 3pm) so Gary has a week to plan and prepare for what will be a crucial game in the Priorymen’s bid to retain their Division One status.
Gary was given a welcome boost even before he accepted his new job when Guisborough’s nearest rivals in the relegation battle, Chester-le-Street and West Allotment Celtic, both lost their league matches yesterday.
Guisborough, who were without a match yesterday, still stay second bottom but West Allotment, Washington and Jarrow Roofing are all now within striking distance and the Priorymen have games in hand on most of their nearest relegation rivals.
Meanwhile, as part of Guisborough Town’s long-standing commitment to being strongly involved in local community activities, the club was very well-represented at the recent opening of Laurence Jackson School’s flagship new 3-G sports pitch facilities in the town.
Representatives from Guisborough Town’s management, players and around 40 Guisborough Town junior section footballers attended the widely-publicised official opening ceremony and many of the young Guisborough players featured on this youtube clip:
Guisborough Town Chairman Don Cowan commented: “I was delighted and very proud indeed to see our football club have such a high profile at management, player and junior football section levels at the launch of the fantastic new 3-G facility.
“This is just one of many examples which demonstrate just how much we get involved in and are part and parcel of the fabric of the local community where we are based.
“Our sincere thanks go all the people from the club who attended the Laurence Jackson school event, particularly Julie Garbutt, our Junior Section Secretary, who organised for our youngsters to get involved,” added Don.
Photo: New Guisborough Manager, Gary Forster.