Bay announce new management team

Report by Julian Tyley 

We are delighted to announce that Jay Bates has been appointed as the new manager of Whitley Bay Football Club. Jay has been manager at local rivals West Allotment Celtic for the past six years. He brings his assistant Barry Rizza with him to Hillheads.

During the pair’s very successful time at Allotment, the club gained promotion from the Northern League Second Division and have become one of the top scoring sides in the First Division.

On his appointment at Hillheads, Bates told us “The attraction is plain to see, Whitley Bay is a historic club; they’ve had great successes. The fan base is unbelievable!

“I went down there and met with Paul, Dave and Peter and it’s just the warmth that they give you and it’s like everything else at Whitley Bay when you go round these people, their warmth."

He said he’s hoping to meet the players as soon as possible, ideally at the club presentation night on 11th May.

“It’s then about building a squad that’s competitive next year for the Northern League First Division. Some of the players that I’ve had for the last six years and also the players that are going to be staying around with Whitley Bay, it’ll be a merger of the two teams. I’m keen to talk to all of the current squad and see what their plans are. Then it’ll be all about pre season, about current players and those I bring in, and those who impress will be part of the squad for the coming season.

“My approach is all about attacking. I was a flair player, that’s the style I’ve brought in with my management. If you look at West Allotment teams over the last six years we’ve scored a lot of goals and I think in the current season overall we’ve scored over 100. We’ve always had a good number nine who scores a lot of goals and again this season I think we were up there among the top six scorers.

“This first season is going to be competitive; that’s what we want to be and with a settled squad, something that Whitley Bay haven’t always had, and we’ll be up there. It’s going to be a hard league but we want to be competitive in that league, up there challenging for the play-off spots. Fans can look forward to an attacking style of play.

“Barry Rizza is a little bit different from me; he’s more a defensive style of player, more aggression. Fitness wise the lads need to be aware of that come pre-season they’re going to be fit!”

Jay and Barry both have coaching badges. Barry works at Newcastle University and he does coaching and mentoring players, working on the psychology of the game.

“We’ve both got good backgrounds in physical training as instructors both in the Army, so it’s a good background to have as well as all the leadership qualities. We’ve done 24 years in the military, we’ve been around the block; discipline will be a key factor.”

Before joining Allotment, Jay was at Walker Central and then Seaton Delaval. He settled in well at West Allotment and was full of praise for the club. “I was there for so long because I loved it, the committee were always on my side and gave their backing and that’s why I stayed for so long and turned down other opportunities.”

Looking forward to the larger crowds at Hillheads he enthused “It’ll be great to hear the fans getting behind the players, it really gees them up to hear people shouting their names.”

Whitley Bay Chairman Paul McIlduff said “Jay and Rizza have done a great job at West Allotment and I’m delighted to get them on board. Their experience will be valuable and I’m looking forward to working with them both and helping us to take the club forward next season.”


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