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Heybridge Swifts re-appoint former Premier League coach and player for third spell

Heybridge Swifts have decided to re-appoint former Premier League coach and player Julian Dicks for a third spell in charge.

It comes after the club announced that manager Steve Tilson and assistant manager Ashley Millar have both stepped down from their roles at the club.

The club said: “We would like to place on record our sincere gratitude for the effort put in by both. We wish you all the best for the future!”

So in comes Julian Dicks, a West Ham fan favourite, who also played for Birmingham and Liverpool, and has been part of the staff at West Brom and Watford, now back for a third spell at Heybridge Swifts, who just missed out on the Isthmian League North Division playoffs.

Interviewer: Julian. Welcome back to Heybridge Swifts. How does it feel to be back?

JD: It feels great to be back. The pitch looks incredible, the stands look good. I mean, everything looks fantastic out there.

Interviewer: Obviously you’ve been with us before. We’ve had great times under you. We won the playoffs. You took over before when we were just above the relegation zone, took us into the playoffs and then won it away at Maldon. What are your aspirations coming back? Obviously, we’ve just missed out on the playoffs. Is it something that you’re looking for straight away to go straight into the league above?

JD: I think every manager should be looking to get promoted straight away. It doesn’t always happen. Obviously there’s a lot of factors, that is with players budgets and everything else, but as a manager, I’m very ambitious. I would love to go straight back up. Is that possible? Of course it’s possible. Will it happen? I don’t know. You always try to do that and every player should be the same, so any time will tell.

Interviewer: Obviously we’ve had you before. We know your style of football and how you like to play. Is that something you’re looking you’re going to bring in straight away? Put your stance out to the players and how you want them to play and how you like them to play and get going straight away?

JD: Yeah, I like to play football that I think the right way, with the ball on the floor, ball possession, keeping the ball is a big factor because every time you give the ball away, you become under pressure. So I remember last time the boys when I was here before, they just kept giving the ball away all the time and it’s hard to get the ball back at any level. So ideally it’s about keeping the ball. Do I like to play open the ball back? Of course I do, but sometimes that’s not possible. So it depends on the team that you’re playing, obviously, in the players that you’re playing against. So for me, yep, I would love to play the West Ham way, but we’ll see what happens.

Interviewer: Obviously, like we said, there’s a lot of room now for you to bring in some players that maybe you’ve worked with before or looked at before. I’m sure you’ve been looking towards a few already, so hopefully you can start to put your own team together and start your own project down here.

JD: Yeah, I mean, that’d be great. I said the stadium looks. Looks fantastic and it is a project starting as of now. So it’d be great to get one or two of the old players back. So if they want to come back, they must have my number and give me a bell so I’ll speak to them. Yeah, but it is about players that want to play for the club. At the end of the day, it’s not all about money. It’s about playing for a club that you enjoy playing for it. It looks after you as well, and hopefully we’ll have a squad that resembles that.

This is how fans reacted as Heybridge Swifts re-appointing former Premier League coach and player Julian Dicks for a third spell…

@Hammer_On_X: Good Luck Julian

@gageykite: Best of luck to Julian. The club is in good hands for coming season

@hedgesoft: Great news, welcome back Julian.

@Coco_Lighting: Excellent Bank holiday news

@Cates1969: Quality appointment – now lets get some players in

@edmonds_alan: Wow 🤩

@johnbird65: Good luck Julian mate

@andrew_marjeram: Good luck Julian great guy 👍

@RachelB451: Best of luck JD ⚒️

@billericaybaggy: Best of luck 🤞

@max_clarke_: The gaffer!

@MarkJona1981: Love this

@smithynd1985: Good luck Julian. Hopefully some signings will be announced soon too

@JulesOwen3: Fantastic news 👏👏

@EkcoU18s: Gutted to see Steve Tilson leave, But was watching this space, Great appointment quality coach/manager.

@Parden28Walker: Welcome back to swifts

@Clayhall143: Maybe he can play left back too

@deejayh01: Welcome back Gaffer ⚽️🖤🤍⚽️

@liam_spreadbury: Incredible appointment 😍

@linkylionel: 🙏🤘⚒️⚒️⚒️

@ZaynafamilyMary: Brilliant news ❤️⚒

@Tknightsy: He was superb at the Shepherd and Dog so deserves this

@Parden28Walker: Big news I am looking forward to the new season

@chrisfenn_1981: Do we know what players are staying yet?

@tonysmi86747439: Good luck Dicksy 👍🏻⚒️

@Speeds37126720; Welcome back to the swifts

@AndyClaridge2: Welcome back Julian

@carpfest: Good luck Julian ⚒️⚒️

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