NEWS: Ayles to lead Wasps into landmark year

New Crawley Wasps chairman Jack Ayles with the U11s team he manages.

Crawley Wasps LFC have refreshed their leadership team ahead of the club’s 30th anniversary year, with Jack Ayles taking over as chairman.

Paul Walker stepped down at Tuesday’s AGM after three years in the role, in order to focus fully on managing the first team.

Ayles, previously Wasps’ head of youth, is relishing the opportunity to lead the club.

He said: “I’d like to thank Paul for his hard work as chairman over the last few years, and everything he has achieved in that role.

“Every club is facing stark challenges at this time, and we are no different. But we will work harder than ever off the pitch to deliver a sustainable future post-Covid, while retaining our ambitious long-term goals.

“I’m looking forward to working with the committee, players, parents, sponsors and all those who have helped the club to where it is now.”

Simon Pavey stays as vice-chairman but has resigned as reserve-team manager due to increasing work commitments, with the club taking applications for that role.

Accountant Paola Heaton and businessman Gary Ayles will further bolster the experience of the club’s committee. Heaton becomes treasurer, while Gary Ayles assumes the new role of head of strategic business development.

Dave Connor (pictured) becomes the new head of youth and former Under-13s manager Ashley Wright (also pictured) takes over as youth fixtures secretary from Mark Graves. Maz Graves (secretary), Alison Smith (welfare and safeguarding officer), James Laraman (commercial manager) and Mick Gainsford (Ewhurst groundsman) remain in their posts.

Walker said: “It’s been both a pleasure and a privilege to have been chairman for the past three years and I am very proud of the progress made both on and off the field.

“The time is now right for a planned succession and for me to concentrate on my job with the first team, continuing the journey in pursuit of our footballing ambitions.

“I have no doubt the club will be well served under Jack’s leadership and that he will bring many important personal qualities to the role.”

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