Arsenal fans’ non league breakaway club appoint their first manager as they prepare to begin life right near the bottom of the pyramid.
Dial Square FC will be playing their football in the Guildford and Woking Alliance League Division 1 North, and the new man in the dugout will be Simon Martin.
They recently unveiled a new kit too, with the main colour majority on the maroon side of red, similar to what Arsenal had back in the day.
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“The club are very excited to announce the appointment of Simon Martin, as the new manager of the Dial Square Football Club.
“Simon’s appointment is a monumental achievement for Dial Square. Simon led Worplesdon Phoenix to promotion to the ‘Surrey Intermediate League’ last season, during a campaign littered with disruption.
“His side won every single league game without conceding a goal, before it was stopped in December, due to COVID-19.
“Simon has played at a high level in non-league football and stepped into management as the number 1 at Knaphill ‘Reserves’, where he won The Surburban League Title.
“He then had spells as an assistant manager at Frimley Green FC and Bagshot FC, before returning to Knaphill as the 1st team assistant manager.
Family commitments meant Simon had to take a break from the game, but eventually returned to management with Worplesdon Phoenix.
“He built a side that was by far and away the best team in the Guildford & Woking Alliance League last season.
“It must be said that it was a very tough decision for him to walk away from Worplesdon. It is a club with a good set up and he’d built such good personal relationships with players and staff alike, but the project of Dial Square FC and the support it will give him (from fans, right through to board level), seemed an opportunity too good to turn down.
“We believe we have given ourselves the best possible chance of winning promotion next season. Simon has a wealth of experience, an excellent knowledge of the game, vitally important connections with good players and other figures within non-league football and we are now very confident in the future of the team.
“We would also like to say thank you to Simon for choosing Dial Square as his next home. We know that it was hugely tough for him to walk away from Worplesdon and, we knew it showed extraordinary faith on his part, towards our club. We will repay that faith and trust he’s shown to us, in the best way possible.
“It just remains for us to wish Simon the very best of luck in his new role and we’re hoping that you can write a very successful chapter as manager of Dial Square, for a very long period of time with us”.
HOW DID THIS CLUB COME TO BE?
When Arsenal were founded in 1886, they played their first match as “Dial Square” before becoming Arsenal and moving to Highbury.
In 2020, an Arsenal fan named Stuart Morgan announced the founding of Dial Square as a breakaway club following protests and disillusionment with the route Arsenal’s American owner Stan Kroenke had been taking the club in as well as perceived poor results.
Morgan, a former director of Camberley Town, said Dial Square was founded following the success of other fan-led phoenix clubs such as League One side AFC Wimbledon and Northern Premier League outfit FC United of Manchester.
The club announced they had agreed a groundshare agreement with Abbey Rangers in Addlestone, Surrey for their first season but stated their eventual goal would be to move the club to a purpose built ground in Woolwich where Arsenal were originally founded and to eventually reach the English Football League.
Despite initial plans to apply for entry into the Combined Counties Football League, they eventually joined the Guildford and Woking Alliance League Division 1 North.
They play in burgundy in reference to the original colours of Arsenal when they were founded.
Their crest features a sundial and oaks in reference to the Royal Oak pub that Arsenal were originally founded in.
In April 2021, Dial Square received an increase in membership following protests against the proposed European Super League.
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Twitter users reacted as Arsenal fans’ non league breakaway club appoint their first manager, see what was said below…
@neillboyd: Good luck and welcome aboard! 😀
@PhreniX: Welcome to Dial Square FC, @Martin8Simon 🔴⚪️
@tails2106: I’ve got yourself unbelievable manager 🤙🏼🤍
@TonyRob89080762: Best of luck Si
Good luck to all!! 👍
— Christopher Horner (@Horner34Horner) June 14, 2021
Tough call to make but it’s the right one for me, Worplesdon will continue to move forward due to the people they have there running the club and like you say the lads they have. Cheers for the good luck tho 👍🏻 and same to you, let’s just hope we can all have full season 🙏🏻⚽️🏆
— Simon Martin (@Martin8Simon) June 14, 2021