Newly-appointed CEO Alex Tunbridge admitted to creating a “profession determination” in leaving his boyhood membership Stevenage to take over the reins at Cambridge United.
Tunbridge joined the U’s in April from the League Two outfit, and took over the function in a sole capability following a month’s handover interval.
The brand new U’s CEO grew up on the terraces at Broadhall Manner, the place Tunbridge mentioned he “fell in love with the sport”, and has spent roughly a decade working at his boyhood membership throughout two spells.
Tunbridge spent six years in his first spell at Stevenage in a supporter liaison function, in addition to working within the academy, earlier than returning to the membership a number of years later to be their CEO.
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After 4 years in that submit, the brand new U’s chief govt admitted that the lure of managing a “greater car” in Cambridge United was too good to show down.
“I believe as soon as you’re employed in soccer, the entire piece round fan and dealing in a membership turns into very completely different, and also you see issues very in a different way,” Tunbridge mentioned.
“I believe the chance to work and lead and run your boyhood membership is one any soccer fan is at all times going to take up, however there comes a time limit the place you must have a look at your profession, and the place you see that going.
“After 4 years at Stevenage, which I totally loved, I felt that I wanted an even bigger car, and that Cambridge United in all probability was naturally that subsequent step.
“I knew fairly a bit in regards to the membership already, I’m very drawn to the town, the tradition, its values, the homeowners and their outlook. Subsequently, it’s a profession determination, and one which I believe is the appropriate factor to do.”
Tunbridge has 5 years of expertise as a CEO, having first landed the function at Newport County in June 2017, earlier than rejoining Stevenage in the identical capability a 12 months later.
The CEO joins a membership which have been promoted twice within the final 9 seasons, with the U’s ending final marketing campaign 14th in League One.
A number of elements had been behind Tunbridge’s determination to hitch the U’s, with the brand new man keen to assist the membership realise its potential.
“I’ve a variety of respect for the journey they’ve been on, the trials and tribulations, dropping into non-league and coming again out,” he added.
“I’m very impressed by Paul Barry, in addition to Adam (Webb) and Mark (Inexperienced), the American homeowners, and their philosophy and ethos about how a membership ought to be run.
“It’s the worth to the group, the truth that it’s a group asset, the popularity that there’s much more to a membership than what occurs at three o’clock on Saturday. It’s the academy, group, volunteers, the tales that sit in and round that.
“The board of administrators are very enticing, by way of their skillsets and experiences, and the power for the membership to develop throughout the metropolis.
“I believe in all probability the final couple of years is just simply the tip of that iceberg, and I believe there’s a good distance that the membership can go by way of enhancing its amenities, matchday expertise, outreach locally, and likewise rising its supporter base.”
Tunbridge replaces Ian Mather within the function, who has returned to being a director on the membership.
The brand new CEO feels that the handover interval proved to be “extremely helpful” for all concerned, while additionally stating that having Mather stay on the board will solely assist him transferring ahead.
“It allowed me to come back by means of the door, get a full 4 weeks of seeing the season in motion, house video games and away video games, and every part that sits round that, in order that selections might be made in an knowledgeable method forward of the brand new season, with that publicity,” Tunbridge mentioned.
“The flexibility to sit down with Ian and speak by means of how sure selections have been made, or what had occurred within the background, and to be launched [was useful].
“I believe an important factor is that Ian goes onto the board, in order that degree of help and data will nonetheless be there, and Ian will proceed to work on a few of the strategic tasks, notably round issues to do with the stadium purchase again, and we’re working already on the coaching floor improvement.
“I believe it was a couple of actually easy transition, not simply internally however externally, and ensuring that the membership was on the most effective footing prepared for the season to begin.”
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