Former Boro and Ipswich Town star Armstrong relishing life in the Spartans dugout
Following in the footsteps of a manager that has helped a club achieve great things is an unenviable task for any person willing to take on the challenge.
Throw in the fact that the manager taking on the challenge is in his first managerial role in senior football, then the task appears even more daunting.
Turnbull to leave Blyth Spartans
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League leaders Blyth Spartans have announced that influential midfielder Stephen Turnbull is to leave the club.
The former Hartlepool United midfielder is in his fourth spell with the Northumberland club, but that will come to an end as he takes up a position as an officer on a cruise ship.
Former Black Cats defender named as Spartans number two
Former Sunderland, Wimbledon and Bradford City defender Darren Holloway has joined Alun Armstrong’s backroom staff – as he will work alongside Neal Hooks as joint assistant managers at Blyth Spartans.
The former defender played alongside the Blyth boss at Darlington towards the end of both of their on-field careers during the 2006/07 season, before the pair were reunited in a coaching capacity at Middlesbrough.
Holloway was part of the Sunderland side that finished in seventh place in 2000, before leaving for fellow Premier league side Wimbledon that summer. With a wealth of playing experience to draw on – as well as his coaching skills – Armstrong hopes that the 39-year-old can help with the defensive aspect of Spartans’ training.
Armstrong said: “Not only did we play together at Darlington for a couple of seasons, he doesn’t live too far from me and he started the season at Middlesbrough as well. I got chatting to him about it once the job came about and asked if he would be interested.
Wade steps down as Spartans boss
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League promotion challengers Blyth Spartans have announced that manager Tom Wade has stepped down from his role at the club.
Former Middlesbrough, Ipswich Town and Stockport County striker Alun Armstrong has
immediately been appointed as his replacement.
Having spent time at the club in the early 2000’s, Wade returned to Spartans as assistant manager to Paddy Atkinson in October 2012, eventually succeeding Atkinson as Spartans manager in the following March.
Wade oversaw a dramatic turnover of players at Croft Park and led the club to successive play-off challenges, albeit unsuccessful ones.
However, his main contribution was to lead the club to the Third Round of the FA Cup in 2014/15, when Spartans bravely exited the competition at the hands of SkyBet Championship side Birmingham City. (more…)
Spartans boss Wade expecting tough FA Cup tie against Morpeth Town
Blyth Spartans have been handed a “tough draw” in the Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round, but manager Tom Wade hopes that their competitive clash with Morpeth Town draws the big crowd that it deserves.
Spartans’ were rewarded for their 3-1 win over fellow Evo-Stik Premier League side Frickley Athletic with another home tie, against current FA Vase holders Town.
The Northern League side have already claimed a cup scalp in the last round – with a comprehensive 4-2 victory over Colwyn Bay – and Wade is hoping that fans of both sides will turn out in their numbers to cheer on their team in what he expects to be a “mouth-watering” clash.
When asked what sort of crowd he was expecting for the game, Wade replied: “You’ve got to look at about 1000, I would have thought. Morpeth’s crowds have gone up recently and it’s only seven miles away, so I’m expecting to see more through the gates from an away side than normal.
Sutton Coldfield 1 Blyth Spartans 0 (5/3/2016).
I decided to let the train take the strain for this journey. I travelled with a fellow Blyth fan using a two-together railcard. This certainly makes train travel a little more sustainable with reduced fares. It was direct to Birmingham New street and a quick change there for the train to Sutton Coldfield. From the station it was a 15 minute walk to the ground. (more…)
Spartans boss Wade wants FA Trophy run
Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade is penciling in a run in the FA Trophy as the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club’s next priority.
The title-chasing Spartans beat Premier Division rivals Whitby Town 1-0 at Croft Park on Saturday to progress and Wade was targeting a run in the competition ahead of Monday lunchtime’s scheduled draw at Wembley for the third qualifying round.
Evo-Stik League chairman Harris hopes for another successful season
The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League gets underway this weekend after League Chairman Mark Harris described their member clubs’ performances last season as “hugely satisfying”.
The league boasted its best FA Cup performance for fifteen years, led by the likes of Warrington Town, Blyth Spartans and Norton United.
Cup hero Dale signs new Spartans deal
Blyth Spartans captain Robbie Dale has signed a new deal with the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club.
The winger hit the twenty two goals in fifty five appearances last season, including a memorable brace in the FA Cup Third Round against SkyBet Championship side Birmingham City as Spartans pushed the Midlands outfit all of the way, only to lose by the odd goal in five. (more…)