Baillie takes the reigns at Poppies as Doyle steps back

Thomas Baillie has been appointed the new manager of Kettering Town with Alan Doyle taking up his original role of technical director
Thomas Baillie has been appointed the new manager of Kettering Town with Alan Doyle taking up his original role of technical director

Thomas Baillie has been appointed as manager of Kettering Town for the remainder of the Evo-Stik Southern League season.

In what has been described by the club as a “reshuffle” of the first-team management of the Poppies, Alan Doyle has been recalled to his original position of technical director.

Baillie had been working as Doyle’s assistant since the club returned to playing following the crippling financial problems that came to a head in October last year and forced the Poppies to stop playing at Nene Park and move into an agreement with Corby Town to play their matches at Steel Park.

Doyle took over as manager at Kettering at the end of September when previous boss John Beck was led away from Nene Park ahead of the FA Carlsberg Trophy defeat to Concord Rangers as he was relieved of his duties by majority shareholder Imraan Ladak.

Doyle was in charge of the 7-0 defeat to Bashley that followed in what many felt at the time was the club’s last game as only 10 players turned up to play for the club.

After a month with no games, the Poppies have continued to struggle on the pitch and are 15 points adrift of safety with 17 games to go.

And their off-field issues remain with Ladak still the majority shareholder despite having no say in the running of the club while the Poppies remain tied to a long-term lease at the currently unused Nene Park.

The club is being run by a team of volunteers led by Ritchie Jeune, who insists planning for next season has started, despite the other issues still lurking.

On the reshuffle, which has been done with the club saying “the setting up of a youth section high on the current priority list”, Jeune said: “With the amount of work ahead of us, in such a short space of time, and with Alan having limited time with the squad other than on match days, I feel that asking him to assist and guide me is in the best interests of the club.

“It is no secret that my knowledge of non-League football is very limited and having Alan’s technical assistance on footballing matters will enable the club to make the right long term decisions, and put the club on a more stable and sustainable footing.

“Alan was there when we needed him most, and stepped in during the embargo period when things were at their darkest at the club.

“I believe that Alan’s input will be invaluable in the exciting times ahead.

“Thomas Baillie will continue in his management role supported by his own team until the end of the season, when we will take stock of what division we are playing in next season and who will be the right person to lead the Poppies moving forward.’

Baillie had previously been at the Poppies when he ran the youth section. His first game at the helm will, ironically, be at Bashley on Saturday.