The House of Payne - Who is the best ever Kingstonian manager? There are a host of nominees (From Surrey Comet)
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The House of Payne - Who is the best ever Kingstonian manager? There are a host of nominees
Ask 100 people to pick the best Kingstonian manager of modern times and you would end up with a pretty short shortlist.
With the benefit of hindsight, you can’t see Geoff Chapple’s achievements being surpassed. Two FA Trophy triumphs at Wembley in 1999 and 2000 and a run to the fourth round of the FA Cup the following year.
That’s not to say Ks haven’t had some really good managers – the current incumbent Alan Dowson has done more than most to turn the club around.
But no one quite had the poisoned chalice that greeted Kim Harris after he stepped up from being Steve Sedgley’s assistant in December 2002.
Harris oversaw finishes of 11th and 18th in the Ryman Premier League during his 20 months in charge when that league was slightly higher up the pecking order – before the Conference added a North and South division.
That may not sound spectacular, but it was the fact Harris kept a football club ticking over at all that earns him the eternal gratitude of Ks supporters.
Hero: Former Kingstonian boss Kim Harris SP65926
In last week’s Surrey Comet, he talked about his time at Kingstonian as the one spell in management he didn’t enjoy – as he put it, the club was being “run into the ground” by the then owner Rajesh Khosla.
Despite making vast personal profit, having made a seven-figure sum by selling on the lease of Kingsmeadow to AFC Wimbledon, Khosla threatened to shut Ks down if volunteers didn’t run it for nothing.
Against this background, Harris did a remarkable job to keep Ks’ heads above water with a young, low-budget team.
What might he have achieved had Khosla not made his job untenable and he had still been around after Jimmy Cochrane bought the club in January 2005?
Harris has managed Walton Casuals and Corinthian Casuals with distinction in recent years.
But if ill health brings Kim’s managerial career to an end, it’s important his time fighting fires in Kingstonian’s darkest days is not forgotten.
Top job: Current Ks boss Alan Dowson
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