Former Crawley Town man beats ex-Premier League players to job at National League side

The late Dermot Drummy and Matt Gray after they were appointed at Crawley Town. Picture by Steve Robards
The late Dermot Drummy and Matt Gray after they were appointed at Crawley Town. Picture by Steve Robards

Former Crawley Town assistant Matt Gray has been appointed boss of National League side Sutton United.

The 37-year-old replaces manager Paul Doswell and short-term interim boss Ian Baird, who have re-signed in the past weeks after a disjointed end to the season.

Gray joined The U's as head coach in December but will now take up his first sole manager managerial position having previously had spells as an assistant at Eastleigh and in League Two with Aldershot and Crawley.

The former Tottenham Hotspur, Cardiff City, Hayes and Havant & Waterlooville player joined Crawley in April 2016 and spent 11 months at the club as assistant to the late Dermot Drummy.

Speaking to the club's website, chairman Bruce Elliott said: ”Without even having to advertise the post we had a number of applications, from ex-Premier League players as well as both experienced and up-and-coming young managers in the non-league game, but Matt greatly impressed the Board with his desire and enthusiasm to take up the position, and his knowledge of the game and players at this level, as well as above and below it. He will bring new and fresh ideas, and the energy and enthusiasm which have been the hallmark of Sutton United FC for so many seasons now.

"Most of all he is an ambitious man who has been biding his time to make the right decision about which club he wants to manage – he appreciates what Sutton United is all about having been able to observe the club closely for five months now, and we are all extremely excited about how Matt will continue the progress our club has made in the last eleven years.

"We have heard nothing but good things from those he has worked with in the past, and Paul Doswell, Ian Baird and the playing staff all speak very highly of his contribution since joining us in December. With that support from the dressing room, it gives us continuity at a time when we feel we need evolution rather than revolution. Matt is raring to go, as we all are, and we are looking forward to working with him and continuing to challenge in the Vanarama National League.’’