Paul Walker Leaves Crawley Wasps Post

Yesterday morning Crawley Wasps have announced that Paul Walker has left his role as first-team manager by mutual consent.

Assistant Manager, Dave Cole, will lead the team through pre-season as interim first-team manager and his role as the club’s new director of football remains unaffected at present.

This announcement follows the news that Paul would be leaving his role as chairman, a role that he’s held since 2017.

Incoming chairman, Jack Ayles, is now heading of a three-person executive board. Joining Ayles on the exec board will be his father Gary – a former racing driver who co-owns Pease Pottage-based classic car logistics firm Bespoke Handling – and Kim Beasley, business director of Regency Security, who takes on the same role in a voluntary capacity at Wasps. Both have granddaughters who play in the club’s youth section.

Walker became first-team manager in 2015, leading the club to back-to-back promotions in 2018 and 2019 and winning Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup in February 2020, beating local rivals Chichester City.

I’m personally saddened by this news because when I met with Paul last season he was first class with Since 71 and made us feel very welcome at East Grinstead.

When Wasps were promoted they came up with a reputation of being strong performers in the fourth tier but there were question marks about what sort of impact that they’d make in the third tier. As lockdown started the club were looking set for a top three finish and were pushing Watford all the way for the National League South title.

Whoever takes over the role on a permanent basis will have a lot of pressure to keep the successful squad together and continue the great work done by Paul.

Photo: @CrawleyWaspsLFC