Article by Mark Tuxford as published in
NEW Stanway Rovers boss Danny Slatter says he will do everything he can on and off the pitch to put the club back on the local map.
Slatter has the club’s best interests at heart and was recently given the opportunity to steady the ship in the last few games of the season after the sudden departure of the experienced Terry Spillane.
Slatter impressed Rovers chairman Dave Jones enough to then be confirmed as the new manager at The Hawthorns on a permanent basis.
As you would expect, the former Chelsea youth-team product is raring to go in his first managerial role.
“I’m a local lad and I love the club, so it was a no-brainer for me to say yes,” he said.
The club’s need to reconnect with the community, local media and its fans are at the heart of Slatter’s long-term plans for Stanway.
“I’m not here just to manage the team,” he said.
“I want to take the club forward on so many levels, which I love doing because I believe the club has good potential and it’s important to me that we’re all on the same page.
“But I also know that I’m not safe in the job.
“We have to win games to do that.
“Football is a results business at the end of the day.
“If you’re not winning games then you have to change personnel and players.
“I’m surrounded by good people at the club from the chairman and director of football Angelo (Harrop) to the groundsman and those behind the scenes and I’m really grateful for their support.”
Slatter is a popular character around the club, where he made a name for himself for his larger than life persona.
He would often be seen regularly barking out orders to his fellow teammates in his role as a combative, midfield enforcer, captaining the team for several years before moving into the coaching side of the game under his predecessors Harrop and Spillane respectively.
“Obviously I was working with Terry last season as his assistant where I learnt a great deal, as I did under Angelo and Al Drennan a few years back,” he said.
“I think that period in my career will stand me in good stead for what’s to come.”
Slatter has come full circle in his career, starting his footballing obsession training as a schoolboy with the club he now manages.
But there’s been plenty of ups and downs along the way during his eventful playing days, including a spell spent at Chelsea.
“I was at Colchester United as a schoolboy, as well as being part of the FA National School,” he said.
“It was through that I went on trial to Chelsea and ended up signing for them and becoming a professional on my 17th birthday.
“I made the bench three times, once at home to Manchester City, Sunderland away and in the European Cup against Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv.
“The atmosphere and experience of it all was second to none.
“But for whatever reason, I never got the opportunity to get onto the pitch.
“They say you need to have that little bit of luck in football.
“I felt I needed ten or 15 minutes to show what I could do but that never came.
“Unfortunately, they didn’t renew my contract when it came up for renewal but the whole experience of it all and playing with world-class players, nobody can take that away from me.”
Slatter then went on trials with Portsmouth, Dundee United and QPR, where he performed well and nearly signed terms.
In the end, decisions were made elsewhere that were out of his control.
“I then became disillusioned with football,” Slatted admitted.
“Having come so close to signing for a professional club and then having setback after setback, it really hit me in the end.”
After a break away from football, Slatter finally returned to the game he adores with spells at Chelmsford City, Welling United, Gravesend and Northfleet, Ebbsfleet Town and Farnborough before returning to his beloved Stanway.
During his time in the game, Slatter has worked with many managers that have their own management style, so what can we expect from Stanway’s main man in the hot-seat?
“I want my players to believe in the process and give it their all,” he said.
“I’m a big believer in man-management and that’s one thing I know I can bring to the role.
“I won’t be shouting at them in a negative way.
“Any criticism will be seen as a positive to achieve better for the football club and themselves.”
With Slatter’s drive and passion being fed through the club from top to bottom, it’s exciting times ahead at The Hawthorns.
“There is no reason why we can’t give it a really good go,” he said.
“I always gave my all as a player for the club and that will be no different as the manager of Stanway Rovers.”