Braintree chairman Lee Harding “delighted” to have ex-West Ham man on board

ALAN Devonshire has been confirmed as the man to lead Braintree Town into Conference football for the first time in their history.

The former West Ham and England midfielder, who quit as manager of Hampton & Richmond Borough at the weekend, beat off more than 100 applicants for the job.

Chairman Lee Harding acted swiftly to find Rod Stringer’s replacement with the Essex club being inundated with applications.

After appointing the 55-year-old Hammers legend, a delighted Harding said: “Alan is a manager that we at Cressing Road have long admired. His teams have consistently been a thorn in our side over recent years - especially in the FA Cup.

“Alan’s Hampton side followed us as Ryman League champions, twelve months after our success in 2007, and they pushed on to reach the Conference South play-off final in both 2008 and 2009.

“But just as impressive was the hard work put in by Alan over the past two seasons with limited resources. After a great playing career, including eight caps for England, Alan has impressed with his managerial career.

“His seven years at Maidenhead saw promotion to the Ryman Premier Division, while his eight years at Hampton saw a double promotion to the Conference South.

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“This managerial loyalty of just two clubs in fifteen years speaks volumes for the man and we hope that Alan enjoys just as long a stay at Cressing Road in the future.

“Finally, I’d just like to express my thanks to all those who have made the effort to apply for the managerial vacancy and I wish them all well in the future.”