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Wealdstone FC appoint new first team manager

Wealdstone Football Club have announced the appointment of David Noble as their new, full-time, First Team Manager on a two and a half year deal.

Noble, 41, brings a wealth of experience from his successful stint at St Albans City in the National League South.

Noble initially joined St Albans City in August 2016 as a player on an 18-month contract but quickly rose through the ranks. In March 2017, he was named the team’s captain, and later that year, he also took on coaching responsibilities under then-manager Ian Allinson.

Following Allinson’s departure in September 2022, Noble was named Head Coach on an interim basis, and his impressive performance led to his permanent appointment as First Team Manager in November of the same year. Under his guidance, St Albans City reached the final of the National League South playoffs for the 2022/23 season. This season, they are just one point outside the playoff positions, having won six of their last seven matches.

Noble’s football journey is notable, featuring over 300 appearances in the Football League and stints with clubs like Arsenal, Watford, West Ham, Bristol City, and Exeter City. His extensive playing experience has undoubtedly influenced his managerial approach, characterised by an exciting, possession-based style of football.

Joining Noble on this new venture is Neil Banfield, who assumes the role of Assistant Manager. Banfield is most renowned for his long association with Arsenal, where he made significant contributions to the club’s youth development program. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in developing young talents and helping them win prestigious titles like the FA Youth Cup and the FA Premier Academy League U17 and U19 titles.

In 2012, Banfield was promoted to a first-team coaching position at Arsenal under manager Arsène Wenger. His contributions to the tactical and training aspects of the first team were instrumental in the club’s domestic and European campaigns. After Wenger’s departure from Arsenal in 2018, Banfield continued his coaching journey, first with QPR in the Championship and then with Glasgow Rangers in November 2022.

A statement from the board of directors at Wealdstone FC said: “We have been closely following David’s impressive work at St Albans City and are confident in his ability to excel in a full-time managerial role. His philosophy and approach to the game align perfectly with our ambitions, and will enable him to settle in quickly to build upon the excellent foundations set by Stuart Maynard over the last few years. Together with Neil Banfield and the coaching staff, we are poised for a new era of success at Wealdstone.

Wealdstone FC appoint new first team manager Harrow Online
New Wealdstone Manager, David Noble. Image: Jon Taffel

“We have agreed a suitable compensation package with St Albans City and extend our gratitude for their professional conduct during this transition. We wish them continued success in their ongoing campaign.

“We are excited about this new chapter and confident that our fans will join us in warmly welcoming both David and Neil to the club.”