Cunningham takes over the reins at Fakenham Town
- Credit: Archant
Andy Cunningham has taken over as manager of Thurlown Nunn Premier Division Fakenham Town.
Cunningham played for Inverness Caley and Aberdeen at youth level before heading down to Norfolk where he represented St Andrews and Dereham Town before a four-year spell with Attleborough Town which included half a season as manager. He then moved to Hellesdon as a senior player to help add experience to a side looking to get back into senior football and soon became first team manager, achieving promotion to the Anglian Combination Premier Division.
Fakenham were clearly attracted by Cunningham's work involving the merging of youth and adult teams and managing coaching development. He recently left his position and turned down other offers to take over at Clipbush Park.
'The opportunity to be the first team manager at Fakenham Town FC is exactly the opportunity that I wanted,' he said.
'Fakenham Town FC are one of Norfolk's foremost clubs and deservedly so.
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'I am very much a believer that youth is the way forward at all clubs. Too much money is spent trying to attract what is believed to be the top players locally, but what happens is that players are attracted by the financial rewards and not what being part of a fantastic club can earn them.
'Some may describe my managerial experience as limited, and I would probably have to agree. However, I am very confident in my ability and the success both on and off the pitch that I have helped achieve at Hellesdon in the short time I was first team manager is evidence of the impact that I can have at any club.
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'I am passionate, driven and have the attributes to ensure Fakenham Town FC achieves success in the future, not just the first team but the whole club.'
Fakenham chairman Simon Barnes added: 'Andy came across very well in his interview - he is a young manager, and some may say not experienced at this level. I disagree and his passion, knowledge and awareness of what is needed for a club like ours was very impressive.
'He is exactly the manager we were looking for, forward thinking not just for the first team but the whole club.
'I have spoken to a couple of my contacts in the local football scene and all have spoken very highly of him, with nothing negative at all, so we are delighted he has chosen Fakenham Town as his next step on the management ladder and I am sure he will do a fantastic job for the club,
'I look forward to working with him over the next few seasons as we endeavour to put Fakenham Town FC back to being one of the foremost clubs in the county once again.
'I would also just like to put on record my personal thanks and the club's to Alex Walpole who has held the post as manager in the interim since we became involved in October. Alex has done a fantastic job in somewhat difficult circumstances, I am sure he will return to the management side of the club once he has finished playing, he should be very proud of his achievements and can rest assured we will always be indebted to him for steadying the ship.
'We are delighted he is staying within the club as coach of one of the youth teams, as well as helping out with our mini-kickers and once fit we look forward to seeing him in the amber and black.'