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Kirkham named as permanent Dudley Town manager
2:46pm Monday 12th May 2014 in Dudley Town FC
DUDLEY Town have appointed current interim boss Nigel Kirkham as the club's permanent manager.
He will work alongside new-face Andrew Alladice as The Robins look to focus on youth development to move the club forwards.
The West Midlands Premier Division outfit have turned to Kirkham and Alladice as they look to put a difficult 2013/14 season behind them.
Kirkham took the hotseat at The Dell two months ago on a temporary basis after former boss Andy Wyton left for neighbours Gornal Athletic.
Around 14 Dudley players followed Wyton to Gornal and left them struggling to fulfil their fixture commitments.
However, disciplinarian Kirkham, who was no stranger to the club after previously being joint manager with Neil Perks in early 2011, steadied the ship and created a good impression as he helped guide The Robins to a top ten finish.
Club chairman Steve Austin said: "We now want to focus on developing young players at Dudley Town.
"Nigel will be working with Andrew to bring in new players for next season. Once we have a good squad in place we want to use our under 21 and under 18 sides to bring youngsters into the first team. We had some success this season by promoting four players from the youth set-up and are keen to keep that going.
"We think Nigel will be perfect for helping us achieve that. He brings stability, discipline and an understanding of our on-going youth policy.
"It has been a difficult season for the club and we want to focus on the future."
Dudley Town's under 21 coach, Mark Phillips, will also be part of the new backroom set-up. That will also be boosted by the arrival of further support staff in the coming weeks.
Captain Alex Perry has been named the supporters' and players' player of the season.
Shawn Devonport took the top scorer crown after hitting 14 goals in 17 games since his arrival in February.
The club man of the year award was gien to first team match-day secretary Stan Griffin.
Dudley finished their campaign in disappointing fashion as they lost 5-1 at home to Ellesmere Rangers last Wednesday and 5-0 at home to Wednesfield on Saturday.