Final words and thoughts as Luke Tuffs departs for Leatherhead

Following our initial announcement on Saturday and the confirmation from Luke and Leatherhead of his appointment, we just wanted to share our thoughts and thanks on everything. And also the kind words from Luke on his time in charge at the RPS.

In the almost two years he has been with us Luke has become much loved around the club. His energy and infectious personality really lifted us up, and he certainly leaves us in a good place after some very difficult times. Those difficult times were mostly the Covid hit first season, and then struggles with a string of injuries, and more Covid related problems more recently. However, his determination and passion really helped keep things going. Always seeing that light at the end of the tunnel (or 3g turf on the way to the pitch in our case!!).

Chairman Nick Bailey commented on the time working with Luke:

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Luke over the past (almost) two years. Through all the ups and downs with Covid he always gave everything for the cause, and definitely always had a lot of energy! We wish him all the best in his new challenge and hope to see him around the club anytime he wants to pop down and have a beer. A great guy, he is always welcome at the RPS.

Luke himself had the following to say on his time with us. And also kindly shared this across his social media:

Luke Tuffs First Team Manager of Ashford Town Middlesex) FC

He also added the following:

October was by far the hardest month of my footballing life and it was this group that turned that round, and I for one am incredibly proud of them.

I am a firm believer that as any member of a management team, when taking on a club, your job is to leave the club in a better okace than when you started. I believe I have done that. The club set us a remit when I joined of retaining our Isthmian League status. Although last season was obviously curtailed, we finished the short season in the top half. An obvious success and safe from the potential pitfalls of the summer restructure.

This season I am leaving the club currently nine points above the bottom three drop zone, and with an opportunity to finish in the top nine. Matching the clubs most successful league finish in over a decade. Over the last two years we have progressed through three rounds of the FA Cup this season, and three rounds of the FA Trophy last season, again matching the most successful club runs over the course of the last ten years.

We used our cup winnings well. Renovating the changing rooms. Laying 3G in all of them and putting vinyl wall art all around. Together we also renovated the walkway, and created a ‘supporters wall’ inthe tunnel for those past and present that have done, and do, so much for the club. Also including a montage for all those that have gone before us.

The quality of the youth team has been improved, and we also built bridges with various new sponsors and forged great links with Fans for Diversity and other supporters groups for the benefit of the club.

It has been an honour working with Luke. And we hope that you all join us in wishing him well in his new challenge. See you for a pint soon Tuffs!

We now look forward to carrying on with a great group of players and coaching staff, with Dean Greenwood at the helm. Here’s to Saturday afternoon away to Thatcham Town, and the start of our next Chapter for 2022. Let’s all get behind Dean and the team – come on you Tangerines!!!!honour