Ashley Smith leaves his post as Head of Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust.The Trustees of Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (WWSET) would like to thank Ashley Smith for his effective leadership of the Trust as he leaves his post as Head of WWSET at the end of this month. Ashley has been a loyal servant of the Trust working on the community programme for 14 years and taking the lead since 2010, following the departure of Dave Evans.
Ashley has driven the strategic development of the Trust and under his guidance the Trust has continued to develop and expand the range of opportunities it offers.
There are now strong educational programmes in operation through the work of The Matrix Centre and the Wycombe Wanderers Football and Education Academy operating at Stokenchurch. In addition a full in-school, after-school, evening, weekend and holiday programme operates offering an extensive range of soccer programmes and developmental opportunities.
Recent initiatives have included programmes targeted at generating more interest in girls’ soccer and working with harder to reach groups, plus involvement in the Regio-Comenius Anti-Bullying Project linking with Buckinghamshire County Council, Booker Hill School and partners in Sweden. Under Ashley’s direction, WWSET also organised and participated in two visits to East Africa on soccer related community programmes.
Steve Edgar, Chairman of the WWSET Board of Trustees, said: “We have been extremely grateful to Ash for his drive, enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring WWSET has developed and grown, adapting to the changing needs of the Wycombe area whilst always ensuring that Wycombe Wanderers Football Club continues to present a strong face in the community. He leaves behind a strong and talented team and we wish him every success in the future, both on and off the pitch.”
The new Head of WWSET is Gerald Kelly who will be joining WWSET later this month. He was appointed from a strong field of applicants and Gerald comes with a successful track record achieved most recently at Oxford United FC where he was Marketing Manager and Community Trustee. Prior to his current post he was the Community Manager at Harlequins RFC for 4 years. Gerald previously worked on the community programme offered by Wycombe Wanderers Community Trust between 2005 and 2008, following a period at Gillingham FC.
The Oxford United website at the weekend carried news of Gerald’s departure with him stating: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club... but the time is right for a new challenge.”
The Board of WWSET look forward to him rejoining Wycombe Wanderers, this time as the Head of WWSET and given his track record to date anticipate that he will rise to this new challenge and there will be some exciting developments in the months ahead.