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House of Payne: Hazel is nutty about Carshalton
6:00am Sunday 13th October 2013 in Sport
The only certainty facing managers, even in non-league, is that they will eventually get the sack – something Tommy Williams found after the pre-season optimism at Carshalton Athletic was followed by just two wins from their opening 13 games of the season, writes John Payne.
Williams was popular with most fans – particularly for the way he oversaw an upturn in fortunes last season, which ultimately saw the Robins retain their Ryman Premier League status.
The decision sees flak flying in the direction of club owner Paul Dipre, who remains resented by some supporters for having changed the club colours and its badge and for his own largely unsuccessful spell as manager.
Former Kingstonian midfielder Williams may reflect that, what may have seemed like a lucky escape when Thurrock’s points deduction saw Carshalton stay up, may have ultimately worked against him as the Robins’ youthful side has once again struggled against teams with bigger budgets.
It’s also hard not to reach the conclusion the first team has become something of a sideshow at Colston Avenue.
Carshalton have won a host of community awards, but their plans to get more use out of the facilities at Colston Avenue by installing an artificial 3G surface has proved divisive.
The choice of Ian Hazel as Williams’ replacement has seen Dipre accused on fan forums of appointing a “puppet manager”.
That is hugely unfair even though Hazel – appointed on a “long-term basis” – had previously said he didn’t want the job full-time.
If Carshalton continue their youth-first policy, no one is better placed to do that than Hazel, having been academy director for the past five years and taken the Robins to the first round of last season’s FA Youth Cup.
Whatever Carshalton fans’ feelings on other issues, they should get behind him.