Former Portsmouth striker Matt Tubbs replaces one of English football’s longest-serving managers
Tubbs was today named the new boss at Poole Town after the Dolphins made the “very difficult decision” to part company with Tommy Killick.
And one of Tubbs’ first games in charge will be a fascinating FA Cup second qualifying round trip to Horndean on Saturday week.
Killick was just a month into his 20th season as Poole boss, having taken over in the summer of 2004 ahead of the club’s first Wessex League campaign.
During his two decades in charge, he won five titles - including three successive Wessex League Premier crowns - five Dorset Senior Cups and one Southern League Cup.
Poole chairman Chris Reeves said of Killick: “He leaves his post with his head held high against a background of twenty years of proving himself as one of if not the most outstanding managers that our level of the game has ever seen.
“Certainly in all my years on the board since the late seventies he is without question the best.
“The decision was not taken lightly but for a number of factors the board felt that the best interests of the team were served by making a change now in the hope that the new incumbent was given the best opportunity to secure the promotion to the National League South that is so cherished.”
Killick guided the Dolphins to a top five finish in the National League South in 2016/17. But hopes of promotion to the top table of English non-league football were dashed when the club weren’t allowed to compete in the play-offs due to the state of their Tatnum facilities.
Poole were relegated back to the Southern League Premier South at the end of the following season, the only time in Killick’s reign the club didn’t finish in the top half of their table.
His shock departure came with Poole lying seventh in the Premier South and hours after a 3-0 FA Cup first qualifying round win over Barnstaple.
Tubbs had been manager of Southern League Division 1 South club Bashley since last November. Initially appointed as interim boss, the position was made permanent the following month.
Bashley have won one, drawn two and lost one of their four league games so far, with Brett Williams and Abdulai Baggie - both at Gosport Borough last season - among the goals.
Tubbs scored over 250 goals in a career spanning almost 600 appearances for the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Salisbury, Crawley, Pompey, Forest Green, Hawks and Weymouth.
Signed by Pompey from AFC Wimbledon in January 2015, he scored 14 league goals for the club in 31 starts plus eight off the bench.
After netting once in his first seven Blues outings, Tubbs cracked a hat-trick on his eighth appearance - in a 6-2 League Two romp at Cambridge United.
Tubbs, 39, was later appointed assistant manager at Gosport Borough, working under player-boss Craig McAllister.
He inherits a Dolphins squad containing current Pompey striker Destiny Ojo and former Fratton Park midfielder Wes Fogden.
Ojo, on loan at Poole, came off the bench in the FA Cup win over Barnstaple.
For Horndean, it is a fourth successive Five Heads Park draw in the FA Cup this season.
They have won the previous three all by a 3-0 margin - against Wessex League pair Portland and Brockenhurst and against Southern League Division 1 outfit Bideford.