Alnwick unveil new manager

New Alnwick Town manager Jon Egen.
New Alnwick Town manager Jon Egen.

Alnwick Town have appointed a new first-team manager and he has high hopes for the club.

The Northern League outfit unveiled Jon Egen as their new boss at Tuesday’s annual general meeting.

The 42-year-old has taken over from Derek Atwell, who stepped down last week due to personal circumstances.

Egen is determined to build on last year’s improved Division Two campaign, which saw the St James’ Park side muster 50 points – their highest in four seasons.

Egen, from Bedlington, said: “It is great to be appointed as Alnwick Town manager. The club is in a great position and had a really good finish to last season.

“The aim next season is to stabilise the good foundations that Derek has left. From a target point of view, we want to beat 50 points and then the aim will be to look at the top 10 and then a top-six finish, which qualifies you for the FA Cup.

“The long-term aim, in years to come, is to win promotion and get the club playing First Division football again, like it did many years ago.”

Egen insists he will stick to Town’s philosophy of using local players and believes that there are some talented individuals already at the club.

He said: “There are some really good players in the squad and there is a nice mix of experienced lads and young lads.

“We want to make the squad as good as we can get it, but we won’t be going down to Newcastle for players.

“Yes, we might look down to areas like Ashington, Bedlington and Morpeth, but we will also be looking much closer to home in the local areas.”

Egen brings with him plenty of experience, both on and off the pitch.

In his playing days, he was a goalkeeper for both Sunderland and Dundee United Reserve sides, as well as playing for Berwick Rangers’ first team, Bedlington Terriers and Blyth Spartans.

An FA Licensed Level 2 coach, he has held a number of managerial and coaching positions, including stints at Bedlington Terriers, Ashington AFC and Wallsend Boys Club.

On top of this, he was Sunderland AFC local recruitment officer between 2009 and 2012 and more recently a local recruitment officer for Middlesbrough.

Reflecting on his credentials, he said: “I have a good experience of the Northern League and I know what it takes to build a good squad and I think my coaching sessions are decent.”

Town chairman Tom McKie said he was delighted to unveil Egen as manager.

He said: “I am pleased with the appointment. He is very enthusiastic to be the manager of Alnwick Town Football Club and I think he will do well.

“Derek Atwell did a fantastic job at Alnwick and we hope we can continue and build on last season’s points tally. We are aiming to better that and are hoping to get in the top half, and hopefully higher.”