A first in the history of Ilfracombe Town football club.

Ilfracombe Town has confirmed that, for the first time in the club’s history, it now has two new chairmen working in partnership to move the club forward.

Matthew Hayne and Kenny Robertson, who for the past six years have been the committee for Ilfracombe Youth Football Club, were elected at the AGM last week. Both bring their own individual skills to the role. Matthew, an accountant based in Ilfracombe, will oversee the running of the club as a business. Kenny, who is head youth coach, will operate the football side of the club.

Former chairman Allan Day remains deeply involved with the club, both as treasurer and in his new role as president and Tony Alcock remains as football secretary.

Robertson said: “Matthew and I have a strong desire to create a real club atmosphere at Ilfracombe Town, and really hope to create a distinct path from youth to first team. With the appointment of Ross Middleton as first team manager, a player who trod this very path a few years back, the chances are strong. Every team we have is as important as the others. We have teams ranging from Under 9s to the first team in the Western League. We also have a successful ladies team. One common theme is that we are all Ilfracombe Town.”

Hayne added: “I can see the potential on offer from the local community to move the club forward and I appeal to the wider community as a whole to become involved. We have had a lot of support from local residents and businesses, who are keen to be part of the success of the club, going forward.”

On the playing side, new manager Ross Middleton has moved quickly to sign a number of talented young local players to bolster his squad for the coming season. Middleton said: “It’s exciting to have so many quality local players wanting to join the club. We’ve always been a close knit group and the lads are really buying into that. They’ve worked hard in pre-season training and now it’s about taking that into the warm up games and start of the season.

“We already have a quality bunch of players and those Kevin Darch and myself have managed to add will, hopefully, enhance our chances of continuing to make Ilfracombe Town a successful Western League club. It’s going to be tough, of course, but I can’t wait for the season to start and to see what these boys can achieve.”

With Hayne and Robertson at the helm, Middleton as first team manager, Ray Squire and Rob Taylor taking over the reserves and Neil Reed continuing with the third team, the club is now set for the coming season. The first pre-season game at Marlborough Park is the local derby against Bideford, this Saturday at 2pm.