It’s official! The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has unearthed the most marvellous manager in the UK – and Fergie and Wenger are nowhere in sight.
The trophy urged fans and players up and down the UK to nominate their favourite amateur boss and after scores of entries and hundreds of votes, it can now reveal the winner.
Kevin Rayner, manager of Guildford City, has beaten counterparts across the land to be crowned as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy’s Marvellous Manager and has now received a commemorative award and strip for his team.
The initiative was the competition’s highest profile attempt to recognise the many managers who give up their time and energy for lower profile positions they love, often at grass roots level.
Kevin was nominated by Guildford City fan and representative Matt Howell, who said:
“Kevin has paid money from his own pocket to pay for team tracksuits, and continues to help us behind the scenes by attending all committee meetings. He has now taken on some of the jobs of the executive committee in order to help the club progress, such as organising and paying for friendlies and player registrations.
“Kevin Rayner is the most marvellous manager, because without him Guildford City FC would simply not exist.”
Kevin joined the club in March 2009 after it had gone a month without a goal, and two months without a win.
He immediately transformed Guildford City on the pitch, managing to string three wins together that meant they were able to stave off relegation.
More recently, progress has been even more impressive. Having persuaded a number of former professionals and one international player to join the set-up, Kevin oversaw excellent runs in the FA and League Cups, as well as a vast improvement in the league. Guildford lost just once at home in seven months and, halfway through the 2010/11 season, is unbeaten at the top of the league.
In September, he led the Combined Counties League side into the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, before progressing to the national stages of the FA Vase.
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy’s sponsorship manager Teresa Hardwick said: “Our Marvellous Manager campaign has been a resounding success and has really caught the imagination of hundreds of fans, all from hundreds of amateur leagues across the land.
“Kevin was shortlisted and polled 43 per cent of all votes to win and looking at his achievements at Guildford, we couldn’t have wished for a better winner.
“We really want non-league footballers and anyone else to dig out their stars of the dug-out for us to celebrate and when a manager like Kevin Rayner wins, we know we have achieved our aim.
“We’d like to congratulate him and wish him all the very best for the rest of the season and beyond. On behalf of everyone at the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, we’d like to say: ‘There’s only one Kevin Rayner!’”
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