Bascome happy to support trusted Steede
Andrew Bascome has denied claims that he has been appointed as the new Dandy Town head coach, replacing for Jomar Wilkinson, who was sacked over the weekend.
Willis Dill, the president of Western Stars Sports Club, whose auspices Town fall under, said yesterday that Bascome “is going to succeed Mr Wilkinson” whose contract was terminated with “immediate effect” last week.
But Bascome said that Town player Kwame Steede has been appointed as the club’s new head coach and that he has agreed to serve as his assistant “until the end of the season”.
“Kwame Steede is head coach and I am working along with Kwame,” Bascome, who had a previous successful coaching stint at the club, said.
“I am not into coaching like that. But I am prepared to help out until the end of the season and that’s my position.
“I am an assistant; helping with the sessions, helping stay organised because I think he has a lot of potential to be a good coach and I am very interested in his development.
“I think this is a good position for him. His roots are in Town, he has good coaching pedigree and gets respect from the players.”
Dill said that Bascome’s name was among a list of candidates to succeed Wilkinson after the club’s executive made the decision relieve him from his post at a meeting last Friday.
“Mr Bascome’s name was also one that came up and fortunately for us we were able to have some talks with him over the weekend and he is going to succeed Mr Wilkinson,” Dill said.
“Andrew is held in high regard in the sporting community when it comes to the game of football, so I am more than sure that the players will rally around him.”
Wilkinson has paid the price for Town’s poor showing during the first half of the season. The Premier Division champions are second from the bottom on goal difference, having gathered only four points.
“It was a hard decision,” Dill said. “It’s never easy parting company with people and never easy doing things of this magnitude.
“But the fact of the matter is that we have to look at where we are and there are other factors involved as well, which I don’t really want to get into.”
Wilkinson, the son of former WSSC president Cecil Lewis, is one of Town’s most decorated coaches, having won numerous league and cup honours.
He guided Town to their eighth Premier Division title and fourth in seven seasons last term. Town also retained the Charity Cup and reached the final of the FA Cup, where they lost to Robin Hood at the National Sports Centre.
“Mr Wilkinson is one of our most successful coaches,” Dill added. “I think he has won probably close to 20 trophies for the club in the time he has been coach and so we do hold him in high esteem for that.
“However, we do have to look at the position of the team as it is now.”
Though successful, Wilkinson’s tenure at St John’s Field has not always been a bed of roses.
Relations between Wilkinson and club management have been strained in recent years and reached a tipping point last season with the coach slamming the hierarchy over a host of issues, including poor equipment and lighting at the team’s pitch.
He also believed that Town’s success in the top flight was unappreciated by club management.
Wilkinson contemplated severing ties with Town after the fallout with management, going as far as engaging in initial discussions with Boulevard while a planned meeting with Somerset Trojans never materialised.
He eventually agreed to remain as for one more season at Town which has now ended prematurely, just over a month after club players and management held meetings to address issues plaguing the team.
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