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Supporters form breakaway Tooting & Mitcham club
Disgruntled former Tooting & Mitcham employees and supporters have decided they have had enough of the off-field shenanigans at the Terrors and set up their own rival team.
Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers will play in the Surrey South Eastern Combination Intermediate Division next season - four tiers below the Terrors in the non-League pyramid - at St Catherine's Playing Field in Raynes Park, groundsharing with Grand Drive FC.
Danny Lee, a former academy director at Tooting & Mitcham who was caretaker manager of the first team after Mark Beard was sacked in 2010 and in charge at Banstead Athletic last season, will be the manager and the team will be made up of students from an academy set up by Steve Graham and Nick Bolt, a former academy manager at Tooting, in North Cheam.
"I have been coaching full time now for a few years and this job opportunity seemed too good to turn down," said Lee.
"They are a good group of people who have the club and its history at heart. I look forward to the challenge."
The move came about because supporters were dissatisfied with the way owner Steve Adkins and the Members Club were running Tooting & Mitcham.
Having been relegated from the Ryman Premier League 12 months ago, they flirted with relegation again this season and had three managers - Roberto Forzoni, Jamie Martin and Phil Simpson - before finishing 16th in Ryman Division One South.
Supporters Cliff Peters, a former owner of Milton Keynes City, and Stan Churchillman are chairman and club secretary of the new club. Bolt will be Lee's head coach and Danny Alexander and Justin Jose will run the reserve team.
Grand Drive won the Morden & District Sunday League last season and club secretary Sharon Graham, who will be Wanderers' registration secretary, was more than happy to help out the new team.
"The Tooting & Mitcham thing has come together so quickly it is amazing,"she said.
"I was a founder of Carshalton on the Hill FC, who are now known as AFC Rose Hill, I founded Grand Drive FC with my husband Steve and now I am delighted to be involved with the setting up of Tooting & Mitcham Wanderers FC."
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