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Notts County confirm appointment of Wealdstone boss as their new head coach

Notts County confirm the appointment of Wealdstone boss Stuart Maynard as their new head coach, coming in as successor to Luke Williams.

Maynard, 43, has left the National League club after three years in charge, and is tasked with keeping Notts County in the race for promotion to League One.

Williams left the Magpies to take charge of Championship outfit Swansea City on the 5th of January, and has so far beaten Morecambe in the FA Cup and drew 2-2 with Birmingham.

Maynard waves goodbye to Wealdstone having guided them to 13th place in the top tier of non league wit 33 points from 25 games played, and were 8 points from the playoff places with games in hand.

Notts County find themselves 6th in League Two with 43 points from 27 games played, 7 points from 3rd place Mansfield and 2 points ahead of 8th place Gillingham.

NOTTS COUNTY STATEMENT:

We’re excited to announce the appointment of Stuart Maynard as our new head coach.

Along with his assistant Matt Saunders and first team coach Craig Saunders, Maynard joins us from Wealdstone where he established himself as one of the most exciting managers outside the EFL.

Having helped the Stones win the 2019-20 National League South title as assistant to Dean Brennan, Maynard took the hotseat in March 2021 and guided the team adeptly despite immense challenges presented by the Covid pandemic.

The following season, Maynard led Wealdstone to their highest league position in 35 years before helping them continue to exceed expectation with an improved 13th-place finish in 2022-23.

A statement from our board of directors reads: “We’ve been tracking Stuart’s progress for a long time and have huge respect for the outstanding job he’s done at Wealdstone on limited resources.

“We believe he will thrive in a full-time environment and is an excellent fit for us in terms of his playing philosophy, which puts him in a strong position to settle in quickly and lead our continued push for promotion to League One.

“Alongside Matt and Craig, he has formed a formidable and dedicated coaching team who will integrate seamlessly into our existing set-up as we look to build on the foundations we’ve laid during our adaptation to life back in the EFL.

“With Stuart in place, we’re also now in a stronger position to help the squad with additions before the end of the transfer window.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jim O’Brien, Tom Weal and Joao Alves for their tremendous efforts in guiding the team following Luke Williams’ departure. Joao will be promoted to the role of first team coach and I’m sure he, along with all of our staff, will thoroughly enjoy working alongside Stuart, Matt and Craig.

“We are also very grateful to Wealdstone for their professional and dignified handling of Stuart’s departure. We wish them all the best for the rest of the season.

“Stuart, who has signed a three and a half year deal, will take charge of his first training session on Friday and will lead the team in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against Stockport County.”

WEALDSTONE STATEMENT:

Stuart Maynard has left The Vale to become the new Head Coach at Notts County FC.

Notts County have activated the release clauses in the contracts of both Stuart and his assistant, Matt Saunders, agreeing substantial compensation for their services. Additionally, Stones’ first team coach Craig Saunders will be leaving to join Stuart and Matt, forming the new management team at the League Two club.

Maynard, 43, a former player for the Stones, returned to the club in 2019 as assistant manager to Dean Brennan. The duo spectacularly led the club to automatic promotion to the National League as champions of the National League South in their first season. Stuart took the helm as first team manager in 2021, and with part time resources in a full time league has secured 16th and 13th place finishes in his two full seasons in charge.

The board of directors issued the following statement: “As sad as we are to lose Stuart, he leaves with nothing but our best wishes and gratitude. There is great affection for Stuart and his management team across the club. They have returned the Stones to the pinnacle of non-league football after 32 years and established the club within the division, playing a brand of football that has drawn praise from many across the National League and the EFL. Our achievements as a part time club under Stuart since his appointment have inevitably attracted interest from other clubs, and we recognise that the opportunity to lead a club challenging for promotion to League One is impossible to turn down.

“Whilst everyone will miss Stuart, Matt, and Craig, our search for their successors commences immediately. We are committed to finding replacements who will build on the solid foundations that have been set and continue with the brand of football that has become synonymous with the Stones.”

In the interim, first team affairs for Saturday’s National League fixture away at Rochdale will be handled by Alex Dyer and Chairman Rory Fitzgerald. The board of directors have immediately commenced with the recruitment process, speaking to suitable candidates to ensure a smooth transition and continued success for the club. Further updates will be provided when it is appropriate.

Fans gave their reaction as Notts County confirm the appointment of Wealdstone boss Stuart Maynard as their new head coach…

@KieranMay93: Fantastic 1st interview humble down to earth an ultra competitive very much like Luke. Good luck Stuart we are all behind you COYP

@chris_eaton_: Very astute appointment IMO. Hope he loses his first match but his Wealdstone teams always played good stuff and he seems to have gotten the best out of that squad for sure. L1 is definitely on the cards 👍

@achandler2409: Just look at his face. He can’t believe it. But we can 😊 Stuart, welcome to meadow Lane for you, your team and your family. Just wait until Saturday, when you step onto our turf and it’s no longer a dream. It’s Stockport and it’s real. Welcome to the Meadow Lane Roar 🖤🤍

@SarahBentley197: Sounds excited to be here and willing to work hard. The fact he wants to move to Nottingham also is a good thing, shows he wants to stick around and be as close to club as possible. Very impressed, all the best to Stuart and his team but also to Jim and the existing staff 🖤🤍🖤

@CountyRoadPie: Best of luck to Stuart and his team. His first three games are against – 1st, 3rd and 4th. Followed by 8th, 17th, 2nd and 5th. So that’s the top 5 in their first 7 games. I’m sure they’ll pick up maximum points, but, in the unlikely event that they don’t, let’s be patient!

@RoooBroo: A very warm welcome Stuart. I’m very happy from you to get this amazing opportunity. All notts aren’t we!!! 👍🏼

@skinio: Look forward to seeing what they can do. Have complete faith in the system and deserves a chance the same as Luke and his team. COYP

@sybiltherabbit: Get behind the new gaffer. Nobody would have hired Williams. Trust the owners.

@adamjamesred: Welcome aboard Stuart. You’ve worked wonders at Wealdstone in very different financial circumstances and deserve a shot at replicating that with us with much greater resources. I’ll certainly be backing you 100%. Now, that defence…… 😉

@mickfox200: Stuart Maynard’s Black & White Army …! ⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️

@benthorpe178: Love it, get behind him and the lads, give the man a chance and let’s see where he takes us

@stephen_dimmock: I think that’s a great choice for them. He’s earnt his EFL chance due to his work at Wealdstone and his style of play isn’t a drastic departure at all from Luke Williams before

@Bananas_WFC: Sorry, can’t “like” this. Gutted to have lost his talents. Our loss is Notts gain. He will go on to greet things with them. Thanks @stumaynard and @Matt_Saunders89 for everything. I wish you good luck even though you don’t need it! #OnceAStone

@PeteNCFC1862: Welcome to the Lane and the Notts County Family Stuart , go do your stuff fella , good luck 🖤🤍

@adamjamesred: Thank you (and apologies!) Wealdstone. Terrific club, and one I’ve always looked out for results-wise since hosting us so graciously on the day of the Play-Off Final. You’ll go from strength-to-strength I’m sure.

@NicolaBrown33: Gutted is an understatement. Look after them @Official_NCFC fans – these boys are special! Wishing you nothing but success. Thanks for the memories, you’re going to be very missed! #onceastone 💙💛

@Robbie_NCFC: I’m so pleased that Stuart has been appointed, so the vibes online turned out to be true. I believe the brothers have made an excellent appointment here. The players will be in great hands with Stuart, along with his team, Matt Saunders, Craig Saunders, and our own, João Alves.

@Tony58119612: Good luck Stuart in your new adventure your gonna smash it mate 👍🍺 got yourself a very good young manager county give him a bit of time he will get you up

@Clod_Street: I feel like shit because I know what it was like losing Luke Williams to Swansea but without the rain, you wouldn’t see the rainbow when the sun comes up. Good luck with the rest of your season wealdstone ❤️

@ZakOShaughnessy: Fair play to Stuart Maynard. Finally got his big move and deserves a lot of credit

@theboygosling (to Wealdstone): Genuinely feel sorry for you guys, we’ve been there ourselves. You are a football club aligned in ideology with ourselves and thats why Notts fans have always had a soft spot for Wealdstone. We’re a great club for the next step in their journey, we will look after them. Good luck

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