Ricky Eaton looking to help improve Redbridge after replacing Jim Chapman as chairman
PUBLISHED: 12:30 08 September 2016
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Motormen have promoted several youngsters into first team in recent years and have massively increased number of youth sides at the club
Ricky Eaton is keen to lay foundations for a bright future at Redbridge now he’s taken over as chairman.
It was confirmed by the Motormen last Wednesday (August 31) in a statement that Jim Chapman would be stepping down from his role.
Chapman wished Eaton the best of luck in the position and confirmed he’ll still be present at Oakside.
Redbridge’s new chairman has been at the club since the summer of 2013 when he was appointed manager and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“When I first joined we finished 14th in the Ryman North and had Imran Merchant as chairman,” said Eaton.
“Unfortunately he had to leave due to personal circumstances and Jimmy stepped back in after becoming club president the previous season.
“I’ve been part of the committee, though, and been trying to put different foundations in place.”
Eaton has been joint-manager of the Motormen along with Dave Ross since the 2013/14 season.
Both have been pleased with the number of youngsters they’ve brought into the first team despite some tough times on the pitch – including relegation to the Essex Senior League last season.
“One of the things we’ve done is improve the youth teams. When I first come in we only had one,” said Eaton.
“Now we’ve got 11 different youth sides and I think that is starting to show in the senior squad.
“We had one of the highest success rate when it comes to bring youngsters through our academy last season.
“Some of them are really good as well so we’re looking to do more of that this year and give more of them opportunities.”
Redbridge’s new chairman also paid tribute to the commitment and generosity of his predecessor.
Chapman has spent the last 25 years involved at the Motormen including when they were named Ford United.
Eaton added: “Jim had to put in a lot of his own money in recent seasons and we want to make the club more sustainable.
“My main focus is improving the facilities at the club to make people want to come to watch us.”
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