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Heybridge appoint ex-Championship boss; West Ham legend resigns from role

Heybridge Swifts have chose to appoint an ex-Championship boss coming weeks after a certain West Ham legend resigns from the role.

The Isthmian League North Division outfit say they are delighted to have appointed Steve Tilson as first team manager with immediate effect, stepping up from assistant after Julian Dicks’ resignation.

Steve will be assisted by former Shrimpers player Alan McCormack who has also played for Preston, Charlton, Swindon, Brentford, Luton and Northampton.

Tilson, who had been working as assistant manager at the Aspen Waite Arena, managed his first game in charge against neighbours Maldon and Tiptree and won 3-2.

Five straight defeats from the start of the season proved too painful for Dicks who quit the Swifts managerial hot seat for a second time earlier this month.

The result takes them up to 18th in the 20-team table, with a total of 4 points from six games played, and will be hoping to continue with the positive results with Tilson at the helm.

Dicks, who brought the axe down on himself just 80 days after taking charge said: “As of this morning [15 September], I have resigned from my role as manager. It wasn’t an easy decision but, at this time, it is the right one for me and my family.

“I appreciate all the support I have received from Gary and [vice-chairman] Steve [Spreadbury], the fans and the club as a whole.

“Now the pitch is ready, I’m sure things will come together. I wish the club all the best going forward.”

“I appreciate all the support I have received from Gary and [vice-chairman] Steve [Spreadbury], the fans and the club as a whole.

“Now the pitch is ready, I’m sure things will come together. I wish the club all the best going forward.”

55 year old Tilson had two spells with Southend as a player, making nearly 250 appearances and twice winning promotion.

He took as the Shrimpers’ first-team boss in 2003 and spent seven years in charge at Roots Hall and oversaw two successive promotions during his time as Southend boss, taking the Shrimpers up to the Championship.

He left his role as Southend boss in 2010 and later went on to manage Lincoln City and Canvey Island.

“I’m enjoying being back in it,” said Tilson on being back in management.

“All of a sudden that pressure comes again but it’s a good club and a really good bunch of lads.

“I was disappointed when Julian went because I get on really well with him.

“It put me in a position where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

The club asked me to take training and then take the game against Aveley.

“I did that and during the week they offered me the job.

“I had to make a decision and decided to go for it.”

“Being a local derby there were nearly 500 fans there and it was great for the club.” said Tilson on the win against Maldon & Tiptree.

“It was a really good atmosphere and a great time to score in the last couple of minutes.

“It’s a good start but there’s a long way to go and we’ve got a long way to go to catch up with where the club want to be.”

“Macca has come in which is great,” said Tilson on Alan McCormack.

“I’m the old vet and he brings in a bit of a youth.

“He obviously wants to get into the coaching side of it and this benefits both of us. You never know, if we can get his calf sorted out we might even get him on the pitch.

“But this is a really good club and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s a long old season and who knows what can happen.”

Fans reacted as Heybridge appoint the ex-Championship boss after West Ham legend Julian Dicks resigns from the role…

@Smudger830: I’d take that combination for Southend United right now……. All the very best Tilly and @almc16

@Justin_Dijkstra: Great appointment and a lovely guy, well done Tilly and @almc16 wishing you all the best in your new roles

@AllAtSeaFanzine: Well there’s my decision on where to go for my football fix tomorrow made. Good luck Tilly and Macca.

@TheRealGKC: For me Tilly is the face signing, Macca is the brains. As a SUFC fan I literally wish them both all the best this season

@simonkittle: Should be the combination at @SUFCRootsHall

@jking28_: Amazing acquisition! Could only dream of having Tilly back at @SUFCRootsHall with Macca

@ShrimpersTalk: Top fella

@JamesWood: I’m not saying it would make any sense but I’m still genuinely a bit envious. Would be easy to get behind, not like wa current ‘incumbent’.

@RunFreeOfficial: Wishing our good friend Steve Tilson all the best in his new role. Can’t wait to get over for a game soon too.

@Ice_Speedway: May go and support Heybridge from now on! You must be happy @WahlbergBlue!

@TheBAWAswifts: Top stuff this! COME ON YOU SWIFTS ⚫️⚪️🥁

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