Stuart Ritchie announced as new boss at Westleigh Park

Tue May 8, 2012 : 22:04

At a press conference at Westleigh Park tonight it was announced that Stuart Ritchie has been appointed Havant and Waterlooville’s new manager. The former AFC Totton boss has signed a two year contract with the club and will be joined by Stags sidekick Shaun New in the role of assistant manager.

Ritchie is no stranger to Westleigh Park, having played an integral role in the newly merged Hawks’ side that won the Southern League Southern Division title at the first attempt in 1999. Having last pulled on a Hawks shirt in a Combined Counties Floodlit Cup match in March 2000, Ritchie in all played 53 games over the Hawks’ first two seasons as a combined club.

His career as a manager started in 2004 when he took over the reigns at AFC Totton, steering the side through promotion from the Wessex to Southern League in 2008 and then into the Southern League Premier in 2011. This week Totton narrowly missed out on promotion to the Blue Square South after losing the Southern League playoff final to Oxford City.

Under Ritchie the Stags also enjoyed significant cup success, most notably when coming runners up to Truro City in the final of the FA Vase in 2007 – played before a record setting attendance of 36,232 at Wembley Stadium. Last season the side reached the second round proper of the FA Cup, losing 6-1 to Bristol Rovers, and in local matters are looking to claim the Hampshire Senior Cup for a third consecutive season when they take on Eastleigh in the final later this month.

Ritchie announced his intention to leave Totton at the end of the season two weeks ago, and has been hotly tipped to take over the vacant role of manager at Westleigh Park since.

Picture Dave Haines.


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