A FAMILIAR face will lead the Wallington team talks when football resumes.

Long-serving player Trevor Baston had acted as assistant manager Alex Slack in recent years, but he has taken over the mantle of manager after Slack moved aside to serve the Northern Alliance Premier Division club as chairman.

Defender Baston has long been a popular figure at the Scots Gap club, who play at Oakford Park, during two stints as a player, and he is relishing the opportunity of managing the club he loves.

He returned to Wallington in 2018 after four years out to help care for his two young sons.

He said: “Slacky approached me in 2018 and asked if I’d consider getting back involved and assist him in the dugout. The timing felt right and I jumped at the chance. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of things again, I think Slacky and I bounce off each other well. We’ve been good pals for nearly two decades and have the same thoughts and ideas on the game, and what we want from our teams.

"It was a shock when he told me that he wanted to move away from the football side of things, but I’m chuffed that he still has a prominent role within the club and I didn’t have to think twice when the club asked me to take on the role of manager.”

Baston’s involvement with the Oakford Park set-up began in 1996 when Steva Cowan, a legend in those parts, coaxed the 16-year-old to turn out on Saturday afternoons.

After three years, he moved on to try his hand in the Northern Leagues, turning out for clubs such as Prudhoe Town and Morpeth Town, as well as Seaton Delaval and Amble Town. He returned ‘home’ in 2005 and helped Wallington gain promotion to the Premier Division and to three cups, including the Northumberland FA Minor Cup.

He is now targeting more success for the club - but from the dugout.

He said: “We’ve massively underperformed in the cup competitions in the last two seasons and this is where we need to improve. I want us involved and competing at the business end of the season.

"Cup finals under the lights in April and May are the games you always remember and look fondly on when your playing days are over, and I want this set of lads to start winning trophies.”