Former Badshot Lea co-manager Dave Ford says he will remember his time at the club with pride and leaves Westfield Lane with plenty of good memories.

Ford stepped down from his role last month because of work commitments – after more than 20 years at the club.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Badshot Lea for more than 20 years,” said Ford. “I’ve always said if I can’t be 100 per cent committed I can’t do it. With work now, I can’t give football 100 per cent.

“In anything in life, if you can’t give 100 per cent commitment you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Ford’s last season as co-manager with Gavin Smith culminated in promotion from the Combined Counties Premier Division South. The Baggies also won the Aldershot Senior Cup.

“For a little village side to get promoted to Step 4 last season was the icing on the cake,” said Ford. “Gavin and I thought we had a good chance at promotion – after finishing fifth in the previous season – if we could add a couple of players to the group.

“The promotion was earned by all the management team, the players and everyone at the club. It was superb for local football.

“The promotion and cup win are part of the history of the club – and always will be.

“Gavin and the management team will continue to do a good job. The team need to stabilise at Step 4 and they are on the right track. They will win as many games as they lose this season.”

Ford praised the work of the many volunteers at Badshot Lea, including chairman Mark Broad.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the chairman,” said Ford. “He always gave the management team all the support we could ask for.

“I couldn’t think of a better chairman. He does it for the right reasons and puts so much time in for the club despite having his own life away from football.

“All the volunteers at the club are fantastic – people don’t see the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.”

A key milestone for the club was when the Baggies moved to their new ground at Westfield Lane in 2019 – after a nomadic decade groundsharing with Farnborough Town, Godalming Town, Ash United and Camberley Town – and Ford paid tribute to everyone who helped make the dream of a new ground become a reality.

“Having our own ground has been massive for the club – a lot of people put in a lot of time to make that happen,” said Ford.

“The chairman put in so much time to get the planning and the funds in place. In those years of groundsharing the club had to pay a groundshare fee – which was a big commitment.

“I’ve seen good times and bad times but I leave the club with so many good memories.”