Birtley Town Football Club are delighted to announce that Reece Chapman has been appointed as first-team manager

Chapman joined the club in 2021 as part of Paul Beat’s backroom team. Reece was a key part of Paul Foster and Paul Bryson’s side that won promotion from Northern League Division Two and ultimately went on to secure a promotion spot in Division One. Chapman has now taken up the manager’s position and will be taking with him vast experience from his time as first-team coach.  

Reece, a lecturer in Sport Coaching at Northumbria University, is a UEFA B licence coach and holds a doctorate in the field. Reece has amassed an array of experiences from working as Performance Analyst with international footballers at NUFC to coaching aspiring footballers within community and academy environments at SAFC Foundation of Light and Hartlepool United. Reece has also spent time working with national organisations including; The FA and UK Coaching to support the development of coaches.

“I’m delighted and privileged to have been offered the opportunity to manage Birtley Town. It’s a club I’ve been a part of now for over three years and the dedication from the committee and volunteers is, in truth, second to none. It’s a real club, the pathway is the strongest it’s ever been right down to U6/7s and the minute you step through the gates you’re welcomed by everyone – just how non-league should be.”

Speaking to the departing management team, Reece said “The opportunity to follow the work that Foss, Brysa and Robin have done is a massive one, and one that as soon as the role came up, I had to jump at. Being part of their management team was a real honour, I learnt a lot personally and the journey we all went on was at times beyond belief. It’s testament to the hard work we all put in, and one promise that I can make to everyone is that effort won’t change.”

Chapman is congratulated by our mascots in a recent win over Whitley Bay

Chapman will be joined in the dugout by former club captain Andrew Clarkson. Clarkson made 67 appearances in green and white scoring 16 goals. A key part of the dressing room in our promotion side, Clarkson has made the decision to hang up his boots and join Chapman’s backroom team as Assistant Manager.

“My management team will see some familiar, and new faces. For now, I want to welcome back Andrew Clarkson and John Mordey. When I decided to apply, I jumped straight on the phone to both of them and they were within seconds onboard. Clarky will come in as Assistant Manager and John will remain with the Goalkeepers – although it must be said he will play a big part in our dressing room again. They both know the club, the lads and importantly what to expect from the Northern League. Other additions will be made too but we will announce them in the coming days.”

Chapman and Clarkson will take up their roles with immediate effect. Both are popular figures in and around the club and their passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of our current playing squad, volunteers and wider club ambitions were a key part of their appointment. Speaking of the current squad, Reece was full of praise for the side from last season. “The lads are unbelievable. It’s a simple as that. There’s not many dressing rooms like it. I’ve spoken to them all now and they know that every single one of them are in my plans. We know like every team we will need to add a few in, keep us fresh, and the ball is already in motion with those conversations.”

Chapman can’t wait for the season to get underway. “I can’t wait for the new season to get up and running, you’ll see a familiar Birtley Town, a team that’s hard working and who fight for each other, but we will put our own messages across too – we want to try and entertain.”

Chairman Paul Beat was delighted to announce both Chapman and Clarkson. “We’ve been fortunate again to have some fantastic applicants, and a few in particular who we knew could have taken on the role and we’d have been confident with. As a club, we work very hard to present ourselves in a way that we think is right, a way that shows everyone who we are. We think this appointment gives us the ability to put together stability, understanding of the club and players, and to give opportunity.

“Reece is someone we know really well obviously, as well as Clarky, who is coming in as his assistant. Both know the club inside and out and we’re absolutely over the moon that they’ve accepted. Reece has done his time as first team coach here at Birtley, as well as previous spells at other clubs in a Manager role. Every top manager, at whatever level they ply their trade, has to be given an opportunity. It’s what they do with that opportunity that matters, and we felt this was the right time to try and grow “our own” management team. We don’t think there’d ever be a better time for that, and we will do our utmost, as always, as a committee & volunteers to support Reece and Clarky, and the players, to keep on the momentum and good feeling around the club.”

Clarkson & Chapman unveiled in front of the Direct Business Solutions stand.

The club will make an announcement about pre-season dates and season ticket prices in the coming weeks.