On this day in 2022, Gary Forster was appointed as the new First Team Manager of Redcar Athletic.

Thrust into the midst of a fragile situation, the head coach has taken the club to the edge of staggering new heights since taking the helm.

Along with Assistant Manager, Dave Onions, and First Team Coaches, Greg Booth and Mark Robinson, Forster has instilled a fresh, enthralling breed of football in the Steelmen, with a record sixth place finish last season to show for it.

Forster's management quartet in the dugouts at Green Lane. (Photo: Trevor Wilkinson)

Initially tasked with stopping a vicious downward spiral of dampening defeats, Forster quickly rose from the begrudged replacement of his long-standing predecessor, to a crowd favourite, with his name commonplace in song around Green Lane.

The head coach fondly reflected upon his first year on the Redcar seafront, hailing the progress he and his team have accomplished as ‘tremendous’.

“This week brings up a year since I took over the management role at the club,” Forster said: “So it is natural for a little reflection on how we are developing as a club.

“From my point of view, the turnaround has been tremendous.

“The club was always progressive, moving up the leagues and developing the ground along the way, none more so as in the past 12 months.

“Key players were getting older, and some of the stalwarts of the previous regime had reached their ceiling point.

“The signings of McNeill, Guru, Wheatley, Ferguson, Watts, Jarvie, Brown, Fletcher, and the return of Issac Walker, rightly make the Teesside non-league community a little green with envy.”  

Gary Forster and Dave Onions discussing tactics. (Photo: Peter Milburn)

19 wins in 38 games, the boss has taken the Steelmen from Northern League obscurity, to a club deemed to be under-performing in mid-table.

With the success his enticing footballing philosophy has reaped in his first year, Gary Forster is determined to return Redcar to the heights of the division, with glimpses of the squad’s potential in emphatic triumphs over Tow Law Town and Thornaby.

A progressive club, Redcar Athletic have never finished a season lower than their previous result, so if the trend is to continue, who knows what success Forster’s second year could bring…

Next up at Green Lane

Redcar Athletic return to BM Bi-Fold Green Lane this weekend, looking to respond to a dismally upsetting Isuzu FA Vase exit on Halloween night.

Their visitors, Newcastle Benfield, face a similar struggle with consistency, and for one of the two, a victory could signal the start of a resurgence.

Admission is priced at £7 for adults, £4 for concessions, and £2 for under-16s.

We hope to see you down the Lane to cheer on Gary Forster’s men, and celebrate the gaffer’s first year at the helm on the Redcar seafront…

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