Former Haverhill Rovers boss Peter Betts answers Haverhill Borough's call to lead them into new season as manager
Haverhill Borough will kick off their first campaign in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South later today with New Croft chief Peter Betts as their manager.
It comes after chairperson Kayleigh Steed reveals the club came close to folding during a tumultuous few months which saw them handed a lateral transfer from the North division and resulted in manager Guy Habbin quitting.
A search for a new manager had failed to find a suitable replacement, she said, before the club turned to a familiar face to help them out.
Betts was already working closely with New Croft tenants Borough in his full-time position as Haverhill Community Sports Association's (HCSA) facilities and football development manager. The HCSA runs the Chalkstone Way site which also houses Haverhill Rovers.
But while former Rovers boss Betts, who employs Steed as HCSA's football development officer, may not be prepared to be in the Borough hotseat long-term, it has provided some much-needed stability heading into the new campaign.
In her club statement Steed said: "In my time as chairperson the last month or so has been the most challenging I have experienced.
"Having worked for weeks behind the scenes with former manager Guy Habbin preparing for the new season we were totally swept off our feet with the late news of club movement within the restructure.
"I want to thank all our players and volunteers at the club who have been an enormous support over the past few weeks when at one moment our survival as a football club came into serious question.
"As we enter a new season, we do so with a new management team. I spent weeks reviewing CVs, applications and speaking to potential managers but unfortunately, we couldn't source the suitable candidate.
"Following this process, I approached Peter Betts our community football development manager who also coaches U18s midweek football and outlined the club's vision to continue providing National League System football to local players as well as providing an exit route for talented young players into senior football.
"Whilst Peter has many other commitments, he thankfully accepted the position - even if it is for the short term - to provide the club much-needed stability.
"Since Peter accepted the position, he has managed to put together a balanced squad of young and more experienced players in which we believe will be competitive for the new season ahead, albeit it may take some time."
She added: "It has been a delight to see the boys back in training with smiles on faces after a tough last year or so.
"The next few weeks and months will continue to be a challenge both on and off the pitch as we work our way through the unkown but it's one challenge we will be working collectively to overcome.
"Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone for their continued support.
"We hope you enjoy watching the new-look Haverhill Borough and continue to show your support to the club and the boys!"
Borough begin life with Betts at the helm at home to fellow division new boys Park View FC on The New Croft 3G this afternoon (3pm).