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‘What an appointment’ – Tonbridge Angels announce their new manager

Tonbridge Angels announce their new manager and it’s gone down a hit with fans despite just days after controversially sacking Steve McKimm.

Jay Saunders is the man coming in and he leaves Margate to take over as manager of the National League South outfit in the hope of bettering their 16th place finish they ended up in for 2021/22.

He has been in charge at Hartsdown Park since February 2019 but couldn’t turn down the opportunity to manage at a higher level again having previously done so with Maidstone United.


Tonbridge Angels FC is delighted to announce the appointment of Jay Saunders as the club’s new 1st team manager with immediate effect. Jay comes to the Angels with a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding non-league football particularly within the South East area and at the highest levels of the pyramid right up to and including the National League.

He will be the club’s first full time manager in modern times which will allow him to immediately start assessing the requirements for a 1st team squad that will be in a position to put in a strong challenge in the forthcoming National South campaign. He will start to assess the make up of the existing squad and discuss with players their thoughts and wishes so that he can arrive at a retained list and at the same time plan for new arrivals.

Jay very much embraces the community and family culture at the club and is keen to be involved in the youth side of the Angels which he sees as a vital element in the progression of players at Longmead.

His success in management is proven at these levels taking Maidstone United from the Isthmian South (Step 4) to the National League (Step 1) in just four seasons. But it is not only this landmark achievement for which he is recognised. Something of a club legend in his playing days at Margate he made 373 appearances scoring a half century of goals mainly from defensive positions and gained 5 caps for the England semi-professional side.

Always popular and well respected with fans and players alike wherever his career has taken him, Jay displays a strong work ethic which has translated into his successes both on the pitch and in the dugout.

Commenting on today’s (9th May) appointment, Angels Chairman, Dave Netherstreet said: β€œWe are very pleased to be able to make this announcement. We believe that Jay’s experience and achievements are what we need to turn this club into the principal footballing centre in West Kent both at 1st team level and as a main sporting hub within the community. I should add that there was a very strong field of five candidates, three of which Directors spoke to at some length but Jay was the standout. I welcome him to our club.”

The club would like to thank Margate FC for their co-operation in particular chairman, Ricky Owen, wish them all success in their quest for a new manager and good luck in the forthcoming season.

Twitter users reacted as Tonbridge Angels announce their new manager…

@RunOnTheMind: Excellent news! Welcome aboard @jaysaunders8 πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ #COYA

@343_coach: Great appointment πŸ’₯

@LiamPMorgan: Unbelievable Manager, if you match Jay Saunders’ ambition we will see you in the National League. Back him!

@dcuk81: Welcome @jaysaunders8 , the Maidstone tattoos will need to go mind πŸ˜πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

@Peter34027959: Welcome @jaysaunders8

@xanaduflipper: Welcome to Longmead @jaysaunders8 πŸ˜‡

@rachel6584: Welcome to Longmead @jaysaunders8 πŸ’™πŸ’™

@stubberfieldkev: Great News, Welcome to The Angels @jaysaunders8 πŸ”΅βšͺοΈπŸ”΅

@beardo10: Good luck mate, knowing you you’ll smash it and good luck for the new season ahead πŸ‘Œ @jaysaunders8 #greatappointment πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

@garywilkins1972: Good luck Jay πŸ‘

@dengal2: Welcome @jaysaunders8 we never talk amber and black though just saying 😜 just ask @sonnymiles1990

@dannyralph: Welcome@jaysaunders8. Your first job is to sort out the away kit…

@SReed_1: Amber and black is a good choice 🟠⚫️🟠⚫️🟠⚫️🟠

@mattdavison1970: Welcome @jaysaunders8. Congratulations. I think you’ll like it here!

@Steadman19: Welcome to the club @jaysaunders8 πŸ”΅βšͺ️

@Stephen88609909: Best of luck Jay πŸ–€πŸ’›

@MaxMeads_: Cracking appointment – full time too, a statement of intent from the club. Welcome @jaysaunders8. Feels like a big summer is on the cards πŸ‘€

@William36803415: Fuck that was quick.. good luck @jaysaunders8.. u will need it.. πŸ‘πŸ‘.. now Margate loss..

@TrevB58: Not the biggest surprise! All the right credentials and a summer to get set up, so let’s go @jaysaunders8

@SteLeeD1991: Welcome to the club @jaysaunders8 πŸ’™πŸ€

@Louis_Lawlor: Good luck @jaysaunders8 definitely will get the best out of any player.

@trevk37: That’s a decent appointment, not many I don’t think could follow on from what Steve McKimm has laid down but good luck to @jaysaunders8 πŸ‘Œ

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