Mon, 11 May 2020
HUNGERFORD Town duo James Rusby and Dan Bailey have praised departing manager Ian Herring for the time and effort he put in at the club.
After eight years at the club, both as a player and manager, Herring announced that he would be stepping down from as boss.
Bailey and Rusby have both played with Herring and under him at Bulpit Lane and they’re understandably gutted that he’s leaving.
“Ian has Hungerford at heart and I’m sure it was clear to see from anyone looking in,” said Rusby. “He had a big presence at the club and was a driving force on and off the pitch. He will be sorely missed by all.
“It has been great playing with and for Ian – his passion for the game is relentless.
“We are both similar players and sometimes found ourselves fighting against each other for the shirt, but whatever the circumstances, he was always the kind of character you wanted and needed around the squad.
“He taught me a lot and always supported not only me, but everyone around him while demanding the best out of you.
“Whether it be as a player or a manager, he always had positivity and belief around the squad which was one of his key traits.”
Bailey, who has been involved with the first team since he was 16, has admitted that the experience of having Herring around helped him develop as a player.
He said: “It was a great learning experience playing with him as well as being managed by him because where we are both central midfielders, I found it very easy to watch him and learn from him that way.
“As a manager he was able to help me and the rest of us younger players because he had a great career at this level and he knows the game inside out.
“He has shown me what’s expected of a player at this level and how important it is to be in peak performance week in, week out.
“With my own personal battles I’ve faced this year off the field, I have to personally thank Ian for all his help and support during times of doubt and struggle.”
It’s been a difficult season for the Crusaders.
They were bottom of the National League South, but both players believe Herring was improving the side every week.
“In recent months, Ian took a slightly different approach to games and the mentality of our players which I think helped us really pull together in the same direction,” said Bailey.
“We had a real togetherness in that changing room and a lot of that is down to him for putting a good group of lads together.
“At times when it felt like everyone was against us, it brought us together and he has supported us brilliantly throughout the challenging times.
“I’m sure the fans will miss him as I know he has a very personal connection with them and they understand what he’s done at this club over the years and everything he’s had to deal with.
“He’s given them a lot to cheer about over the years, so I’m sure they will miss him.”
Meanwhile Rusby added: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind season to be fair.
“Yes there have been some off-the-pitch problems, a few up and downs in the group and now the current situation the football world finds itself in.
“However, throughout the season the gaffer has been the constant driving force for us – whether it be guidance, support or just reassurance, he was always there for us.
“Ian will be missed and the Hungerford changing room environment will be an unknown, but when one door closes another one opens and that goes for both Ian’s career and also the next Hungerford management team.”