Barker's Romsey challenge

DANNY Barker has been confirmed as the new manager of Sydenhams Premier outfit Romsey Town following the departure of Wayne Mew.

A well-known face on the local non-League circuit, former Pompey first-year pro Barker played for Basingstoke Town, Andover and AFC Totton before cutting his managerial teeth with Colden Common, whom he led to the Hampshire Premier League title.

He assisted ex-Bashley star Jeremy Stagg in a brief spell in charge of Wessex side Lymington Town before returning to the Hampshire PL with Sporting Bishops Waltham.

Barker, though, still hankered after playing and, having donned his boots again for AFC Stoneham, had two spells at Romsey, combining a playing role with assisting Mew and his right-hand man Stuart Long.

But pressure of work meant he was unable to fully commit to the club and it is only now, after a change of job, that the Chandler's Ford-based salesman can properly concentrate on football again.

"The biggest problem I had when I was at Romsey before was a change in my job which meant I was covering a larger area, including London," he said.

"It became impossible to carry on and I was forced to leave, which was disappointing because things were going well under Wayne.

"But I've changed jobs now and am working as a sales manager for a boiler manufacturer. I cover the Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth areas, so that's a lot more football friendly."

Goalkeeping coach Steve Hollick is staying on as one of two assistant managers. The other is Carl Bennett, who worked with Barker at Colden Common and Sporting BW.

*Don't miss more Romsey Town and non-League news in this weekend's Pink.

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