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Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 16:43 GMT
Westley quits Farnborough
GRaham Westlkey has left Farnborough Town
Westley feels he can take Farnborough no further
Graham Westley has left Farnborough to take charge of Nationwide Conference rivals Stevenage Borough.

Westley walked out on the Hampshire club just days after their glamour FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury.

Several of the Farnborough players who distinguished themselves at Highbury are expected to follow him.

I have tasked him with delivering Football League status

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace

Westley has signed a three-year contract at Stevenage where he faces a big challenge to his football management credentials and ambitions.

Stevenage are currently 21st in the Conference, six points adrift of safety.

The 34-year-old Westley combined the role of chairman and manager at Farnborough, where his facilities management company was also a major backer.

His role at Stevenage will be strictly as first-team manager.

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said: "Graham joins us in a first-team managerial role, with no board involvement.

"We've agreed a three-year contract during which time I have tasked him with delivering Football League status.

"He's stated his ambition to become a top-flight professional football manager and to do that he needs a structure from which to progress.

"Stevenage have a burning ambition to be a Football League club and already have the structure in place so our goal is to achieve our ambitions together."

I've enjoyed my time at Farnborough but I feel that I need to move on now

Graham Westley

Farnborough were heavily in debt and facing extinction when Westley joined the club in 1999.

Although he will withdraw his financial backing, Farnborough's FA Cup exploits this season have netted them more than 500,000.

Under Westley, Farnborough captured the Ryman League Cup in 2000, and the Ryman League championship in 2001, which clinched their Conference status.

Despite a measure of success on the field, Westley was frustrated by the size of Farnborough's fan base and battles with the local authority over plans to develope Farnborough's tiny 3,500 capacity ground.

In a statement, Westley said: "I've enjoyed my time at Farnborough but I feel that I need to move on now.

"I need to concentrate on football management which is where my ambitions lie.

"Doing two jobs is unrealistic at this level and above. Especially when you run another business too."

This is a sad day for the club

Farnborough secretary Vince Williams

Westley confirmed he would be leaving his shareholding in Farnborough to other existing shareholders.

"I hope that everybody will be able to recognise the footballing goodwill in this," said Westley.

Farnborough's football secretary Vince Williams will act as interim general manager, although he is thought to be considering his future.

Williams said: "This is a sad day for the club.

"I for one, appreciate the efforts and success that Graham has brought to the club and I believe he is leaving the club in a most honourable way."

Farnborough Town


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See also:

13 Feb 03 | FA Cup
27 Jan 03 | Stevenage
Links to more Eng Conf stories are at the foot of the page.


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