Stow manager has secured a massive coup with the addition of Terry Spillane to his backroom staff. Spillane joins having most recently held the same role at New Salamis, who were of their division when the 2019-20 season was cut short.
Spillane brings a wealth of experience to the club, and one of the most impressive CVs in the area. After three years with Frenford, he won the Essex Senior League in 2010 with Stansted for the first time in their history. The following season, Stansted missed out on the title by a point after a points deduction, and also made the fifth round of the FA Vase.
In 2011-12, Spillane led Redbridge to the second round proper of the FA Cup, and narrowly missed out on a play-off spot.
Since then, Spillane has managed at Maldon & Tiptree, Aveley (where he managed Max Mitchell), Thamesmead Town, and Stanway Rovers.
We had a chat with him to discuss the reasons for joining Walthamstow, his thoughts on next season and which club he’d like to get a result against.
What attracted you to Walthamstow?
Max is an ex-player of mine and when he started his management career, he has always kept in contact with me and I have always tried to help him along the way. We had a conversation a few weeks back about something different and he ended it with asking me what I am doing next season. I wasn’t sure and he asked if I wanted to help him out. I brought into the structure and plans for the club. I like the idea of working with Max and I’m a local boy from Chingford so I knew all about the club. I have always kept a close eye on the only non-league club for that area.
Max has played for you in the past. What do you think it will be like to work side-by-side?
I don’t know. That is yet to be seen. He’s a former player, as I said, I have been in close contact with for the last 18 months and we’ve had regular conversations about the club and management. I’d expect him to do a great job. I still think he can play but that’s another story. It’s the start of a good journey and I think it’s a good fit for him and the club.
You won the Essex Senior League with Stansted ten years ago. How much do you think the league has changed since then?
The money side of it has changed completely. I think when I won it at Stansted, there were two teams who were paying players, one of those being Enfield 1983 so the money side has changed. Football has also changed and I think the way football is played now is different from what it was 10 years ago. The ESL is one of the toughest divisions for the level it is at and when I won it, there were 4-5 teams who could’ve won it but now there is 7-8 or even half of the teams that could win the league. Saying that, I have the experience of winning the league and I hope that will help us get promoted or win the title next season.
What will the main challenges be this season?
Saffron Walden, Takeley or 4-5 others could compete at the top. Stansted might have a say. Hashtag will be one of the favourites so the pressure will be on them and they will have the backing financially but I think we will have something to say ourselves.
Who would you see as Stow’s toughest opponents next season and which club would you like to get a result against?
Hashtag United will be the title favourites. We will be mentioned, Saffron Walden and I have to mention my old club Stansted. I am looking forward to going back there as I’ve not been back there with another team. As to who I want a result against, I want to beat everyone. I treat every club with the same respect as I want to win against them all. The one I’m looking forward to most is Stansted for obvious reasons.
What are your targets for the new season as an assistant manager?
Max has told me he plans to win the league and have a good run in all the cups including the Vase which appeals to me. I have never been someone at the clubs where I put weakened teams out in the cups so I was happy to hear Max say that. I was assistant manager at the New Salamis last year. I really enjoyed that and I’m expecting it to be the same with Max. I like him as a person and his philosophy really appeals to me. I’m looking forward to helping all the coaches including David Hutton who I’ve known since he was 8-9 years old.
It has been a difficult and strange time for everyone. How much are you raring to go for the new season?
I’m ready to go right now! I think a lot of people are like that right now because it’s been 3 months. I think we’ll have a clearer idea of when football will return at the league meeting this week. There’s a lot of rumours that it will be September but I hope it’s before that. I’m really excited about the season starting.