Ward heads to manage Rams' rivals
FORMER Ramsgate boss and legend Jim Ward has been appointed the new manager of Ryman League Division One South rivals Sittingbourne.
The 60-year-old Scot was confirmed as the Bourne's new manager on Tuesday afternoon and has been tasked, along with his brother Danny, with reviving the fortunes of a club that finished well down in 19th place last season.
Ward left Rams in April after overseeing the most successful period in the clubs history.
He was first appointed manager at Southwood in 1996 and went on to win two Kent League doubles in five years before quitting in 2001.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Ward won five trophies in two-and-a-half years at Maidstone before he was sacked after a poor run in 2003 and returned to Ramsgate in 2004, leading the club to the Kent league double for a third time in 2005.
He led Ramsgate to the FA Cup first round proper in 2005 and also won the Ryman One title that season.
But it was to be 2008 that would be the greatest period of his tenure, a stunning season that saw him guide Ramsgate to the Ryman Premier play-offs and Isthmian Cup glory.
Ramsgate chairman Richard Lawson said that Ward phoned him on Tuesday morning to tell him of his new appointment.
Lawson told the Gazette: "I wish him well at Sittingbourne, it's a shame he has taken over at a team in the same league as us.
"He (Ward) always maintained he wanted to get back into management and I'm not surprised that Sittingbourne came calling.
"Obviously we wish him luck but we are in a new era under Tim Dixon and there are exciting times ahead for Ramsgate. We are very positive ahead of the new season."