FORMER boss Graham Drury has returned to the Daniels, replacing Tommy Brookbanks in an extraordinary 24 hours at the Premier Kitchens Arena this week.
Brookbanks had outlined his plans for pre-season earlier this week but on Wednesday the Daniels announced his shock departure. Then, yesterday morning, the club appointed Drury, who left Corby earlier this week.
Drury’s first job will be to bring some stability to a club that has seen players come and go all season, and that has got through a series of managers since Drury left four years ago with Dougie Keast, Tuncay Korkmaz, Simon Clark and now Brookbanks all passing through the managerial turnstile.
“It’s a results driven business but I hope to stay in the job a little longer than the last few,” said Drury.
“A lot of people understand why I left last time and I always stayed in contact. This opportunity came around because of circumstances and it’s a club close to my heart.
“I see the potential at Stamford and I believe we can take the club further.
“I like to try to play good, entertaining football and win more than we lose. If we can do that who knows what we can achieve. Within the next three or four seasons we could be at the same level as Corby.
“We have a proper youth system and are going to build a new stadium – there are big plans.”
A statement issued by the club yesterday said: “Stamford AFC is delighted to announce that Graham Drury has agreed to return to the club as first-team manager. The board of directors moved quickly to secure his services following his departure from Corby Town.
“Graham will be assisted by his former Daniels and Corby number two, Paul Holden.”
Holden, along with Drury, joined the Steelmen from Stamford just over four years ago.
But the decision was far from unanimously approved at the club with divisions in the boardroom.
Chairman John Drewnicki has expressed his disappointment over events and is believed to be considering his position at the club.
He said: “I am disappointed that Tommy Brookbanks was not given a full season. Simon Clark was given time and I would have expected Tommy to be given the same chance.
“I think he would have had the team buzzing.”
Brookbanks said he was stunned at being forced out.
He said: “It is with deep regret that from this morning, I am no longer the manager of Stamford.
“Having been brought in by the directors in October after the resignation of the previous manager, I had the difficult task of replacing four of our best players immediately, in Jacklin, Mullarkey, King and Beeson, who had already agreed terms with other clubs.
“To top that, we lost Staff, Steadman and Maddox to long-term injuries, I think the position of seventh in the league was a fair reflection of all our efforts this season.
“Five players were ear-marked to add to our current squad and it is my belief this squad would have challenged for the title next season.”
He thanked Mr Drewnicki for his support along with directors David Whitby and Keith Scarborough, saying: “The chairman has been a constant support to me this season and has given me immense backing in every aspect of my job.
“To the supporters, who I’ve always had a good relationship with, please keep supporting your club.”