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New Essex FA chief executive Walshe relishing role

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 January 2017

Brendan Walshe is the new chief executive of the Essex FA (pic essexfa.com)

Brendan Walshe is the new chief executive of the Essex FA (pic essexfa.com)

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A new year brings a new era for the Essex FA as Brendan Walshe becomes the organisation’s second chief executive, stepping in the footsteps of long-serving predecessor Phil Sammons.

Walshe brings a wealth of experience to the role having already spent nine years at the county office and almost eight of those as county development manager.

He started his new role on January 1 and is relishing the task, saying: “Essex is one of the largest counties in the country for football participation and I am excited by the challenge of continuing to develop this across Essex.

“There are exciting times ahead for football and I’m looking forward to working with the board and council of the Essex FA, along with all the various stakeholders in the game, to help ensure we realise the full potential of football in Essex and safeguard it for future generations.”

A crucial element of Walshe’s appointment is the knowledge of the Association he already possesses and he added: “I have experience of football in Essex across a wide variety of partners and organisations.

“This includes strategic facility planning with local authorities and working with volunteers at clubs and leagues to improve the experience of grassroots football as well as coaching and playing. I’ll be looking to bring all these experiences to my new role.

“It’s not all going to be plain sailing. Football is facing some challenges as well. Partnership working will be a key aspect in helping to overcome those challenges so I will be looking to meet as many of our partners as I can in the weeks and months ahead.”

Going forward, Walshe is clear in his key vision for the county FA too, adding: “The priorities are to ensure we are providing the best environment possible for people of all ages and abilities to experience the game of football.

“Positive and effective organisations are always striving to improve and the Essex FA is the same. The challenge moving forward for all of us is to continue to evolve to meet the demands of modern lifestyles and expectations.

“Football is a high-profile subject with high expectations so we have to always seek to improve to ensure the game can meet those demands.”

Having worked with his predecessor since January 2008, Walshe was quick to praise the excellent work of outgoing Sammons, saying: “I have seen first-hand the excellent job Phil has done. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and Phil has been a very strong advocate over the years.

“Phil has a huge amount of experience and I’m sure he will continue to use this to support grassroots football in the future. He’ll always be welcome at the Essex FA.”

Essex FA chairman Wayne Deller oversaw the recruitment process and is pleased to have got his man, saying: “Brendan emerged as far and away the strongest candidate and, with his existing knowledge of the Essex FA and the direction the board wishes to move forward towards, we feel sure that this is the right appointment to take the county FA onwards. We wish Brendan a very successful future as our chief executive.”

Walshe finished with a pledge to those in grassroots football in the county, adding: “Football is a team game and the continued improvement and development of the game is not about one single organisation, it requires all stakeholders to work together to make football the best experience it can be. We all have a role to play.”


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