Devereux Doing Well With Rocks
Adam Dennehey looks at a former Redbridge manager who is now number two at East Thurrock United.
East Thurrock United are doing well this season. The Rocks if you don’t already know are through to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, where they face Chelmsford City away, and are currently sitting in the top half off the Ryman Premier Division, that’s not bad when you consider some clubs above them have played one game more than them.
I know three individuals at East Thurrock well. Their assistant manager Jay Devereux who was in charge of Redbridge for just over a year and two of the clubs players in Tom Stephens and Hakeem Araba, who would probably walk into most teams within the Ryman League at the moment.
When Jay came to the club in the summer of 2008 after Dean Holdsworth moved onto Newport County, I’ll be honest in saying this but I had no idea who he was. After all I had only been with the club for 2 years and was still gaining knowledge of who’s who in and around Non-League circles.
I quickly found out that Jay had had management experience at Barking and had previously been managing Dagenham & Redbridge’s reserves. The Daggers link would prove to be an important one early on in the season as Jay was able to get in Jacob Erskine (now at Dartford) and Harlee Dean (now at Brentford).
Both were youngsters (no more than 18 years of age) sent on-loan to us to gain experience and both in the first-half of the season played well before their respective deals ended. Perhaps we were not a pretty side to watch under Jay but we still finished a highly respectable eighth in the division.
We had a good run in the Essex Senior Cup and went out at home to Concord Rangers in the semi-finals. Along the way we had defeated Southend United at Roots Hall in a thrilling game which we nicked 3-2 in extra-time with Dean bagging a winner just before penalties would have decided the game.
Jay was always someone who wouldn’t get too carried in post-match interviews with me and was always keen to praise the team as a whole instead of players individually, which tended to annoy me. One great memory I have of him came the week after a 6-0 cup defeat to Tooting & Mitcham at home.
Quietly at our next home game, I was told to try and be more positive in my match-reports on our website and programme in future. I was taken aback by this comment and asked Jay ‘how can I be more positive when we’ve lost 6-0, would you like me to make things up in my reports?’ Jay though was standing his ground!
He had a point I guess after all my reports should be more bias towards us, then again I always believed in writing a fair match report and would kindly highlight mistakes if we had played badly. Then again the last thing he wanted his players to read on our website (if they went on it) was a report highlighting the fact that they had played badly, not that I doubt it would have bothered them much anyway!
Sadly Jay left us at the start of the following season partly due to the fact he had no budget to work with. It was a shame as a fairly good side had been built-up and despite the fact he often left substitutions sometimes a tad late in games (our fans always pointed that out to me!) he had a fairly good record in charge and made us a side hard to beat, which is never a bad quality for a team to have.
Thanks to Adam for this article. Follow him on twitter: @TheMotormen