We’re delighted to announce that Tony Russell and Joe Vines have agreed to extend their time with the club, both signing two-year contracts.
Since joining the club back in April 2021, the management duo have transformed the fortunes of The Rooks, playing a unique brand of football; a flowing, attacking style not seen at The Dripping Pan in many years.
Russell’s first season in charge saw the club push for the play-offs, scoring 89 league goals en route to a seventh-place finish with 70 points.
The 2022/23 season saw the club come closer still to the play-offs with only goal difference the deciding factor. The Rooks lost only once at home and finished in sixth place on 74 points.
Confirming the news, Club Chair Stuart Fuller said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to agree a new two-year deal for Tony and Joe to stay at Lewes. Their approach and style of play has seen the club grow beyond belief and we look forward to the next two years and where this journey will take us.
“They’ve signed some exceptional players as well as being responsible for the development of some real talent. I am sure the fans, like me, look forward to the future with Tony and Joe at the helm”.
And Russell spoke of his delight at remaining as manager: “With my deal coming to an end, it always brings uncertainty from all parties, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have some tempting offers away from Lewes, but my partner Kate said something to me that really hit home: ‘these past two years are the happiest I have ever seen you with your football, so why would you want to give that up?’
“She is right. I have loved being at Lewes. It is an unreal football club with the best people you could ever want to meet. I have been at clubs and won promotions and not been this happy.
“So, imagine what it will be like if I can bring that to the table as well. I feel part of something special, so I’m over the moon to sign a new deal and continue building and growing us on the pitch”.
Joe Vines added: “I am really excited and exceptionally proud to continue working alongside Tony and the staff to try and achieve our footballing ambitions at a club that shares so many values that are close to my heart.
“Lewes is not just a football club; it is so much more than that. The league is looking ultra-competitive this season and I’m relishing the challenge. Up the Rooks!”.
Director John Peel said: “It has been a delight to watch this Lewes team under the stewardship of Tony and Joe and their impact goes beyond the pitch. Their values and personalities are a glove fit with the club ethos, and they have been great ambassadors and leaders on the principles we stand for.
“They are superb people and it has been a pleasure to work with them as well as their coaching staff and the players they have brought to the club and I’m overjoyed that our journey will continue”.