Whitley Bay FC’s new management duo of Leon Ryan and Stephen Foster took their first training session last night when the first team squad met at Foxhunters.
Following Ian Chandler’s resignation, Leon was appointed manager on a temporary basis yesterday and he has brought in former Spennymoor Town colleague Stephen Foster as his assistant.
Leon is a fans favourite and rejoined Whitley bay last year after a spell at Spennymoor, but Stephen will be less well known to Bay fans.
Ahead of last night’s training session, both men spoke enthusiastically about the opportunity to lead the Club with Foster clearly excited to be joining Whitley Bay after a long playing career which has seen him play over 400 games in the Football League.
He began his playing career with Mansfield, who he joined straight from school in 1992. He then had spells at Conference sides Telford and Woking before being signed for Bristol Rovers by their then manager Ian Holloway. He spent five years with the Pirates before moving to Doncaster where he enjoyed consecutive promotions, from the Conference up to what is now League One. He helped Scunthorpe achieve promotion to the Championship in 2007 and then moved on to Darlington when they were still a League club.
After two and a half years at Darlington he spent a short time at Blyth before returning to Mansfield and was a member of their side that were beaten by the Quakers in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in 2011.
The accomplished defender finished his playing career alongside Leon in the Spennymoor Town side that won the Northern League title in 2012.
In addition to his vast playing experience, Stephen is a qualified coach, holding a UEFA B licence.
Everyone at Hillheads would like to welcome Stephen to Whitley Bay Football Club and wish him and Leon every success in their new roles.