Kelly Newton Departs The Pan

Kelly Newton Departs The Pan

Having spent nearly 20 years at Lewes as a player and U18s manager, Kelly Newton will be leaving The Dripping Pan.

Marcus Lee
4 minute read
Credit:
James Boyes

After joining Lewes back in the 2002/03 season as a player and retiring to become the U18s manager in 2018, Kelly Newton will be departing Lewes to start a new role at Worthing FC.

Newton made over 390 appearances for the Rooks and became first team captain, helping the Club through a number of promotions and winning trophies along the way. On retiring from first team football, she became the first Lewes player to join the Club’s new Hall of Fame.

Her new role will see her join former Lewes manager John Donoghue at Worthing, where she will be the first team assistant manager. Having spent three seasons as the U18s manager, Newton has mixed emotions about leaving the Club and the players she has coached.

“The pressures of a demanding full-time job accompanied with managing the U18s leaves very little time for anything else. Even when I am not working or at football, I find myself constantly thinking about them. I have neglected family in favour of both of these activities and it feels like the right time to readdress the balance in my life.

“I feel a mixture of pride and sadness stepping away from Lewes. The reaction I have had from the players since I have announced my departure has been incredibly sweet and shows that myself, Charlie and Greg have made a real impact in the short time we have worked together. I definitely underestimated the emotion we would all feel after our final game.

“I have been lucky to work with a group of players that have made me proud week in week out. The standout moment for me would be our match away to Herne Bay earlier this season. We went into the game as underdogs against a team that had just beaten league favourites Worthing. Every single player was outstanding in a highly competitive match. We deservedly went two goals in front, and we were looking like we were going to pull off an incredible win.

“Unfortunately, an injury to an opposition player during the second half meant the game had to be abandoned and the result would not stand. I was immensely proud of the performance of the players, but also the way they handled the situation. Their reaction was to simply move on and relish the opportunity to play them again.”

Along with Newton, assistant coach Charlie Carter will also be leaving Lewes. The departing U18s manager was full of admiration for her assistant, who will be joining her at Worthing.

“Charlie has exceeded all expectations over the past two seasons. Our morals and beliefs are aligned, and she instinctively knows when I am feeling outside pressure and always steps up at precisely the right moment. I am delighted Charlie will be joining me on my next project at Worthing.

“I get far too much credit as the manager of the U18s. All the good work that is associated with the U18s is a team effort. Charlie Carter, Greg Cross, David Sheppard and Paul Critchfield are a dream to work with. These are four selfless people that are only interested in creating the best environment for our players to thrive in.”

Along the way in her illustrious playing career, Newton won the London & South East Regional Cup, two Sussex Women’s Challenge Cups, the Ryman League Cup, the FA WPL Plate, two SECWFL Cups and became SECWFL Champion.

Joining Lewes from Brighton back in the 2002/03 season, Newton was delighted to see the progress at the Club in her first season and couldn’t be happier with the decision she made to join the Rooks. In her first year at The Dripping Pan, she was part of the side that won the SECWFL Cup.

“Signing for Lewes back in 2003 from Brighton is the best decision I have ever made. I have met so many friends for life and created the most incredible memories along the way. I knew when I signed that Jacquie Agnew and Ron Moore were ambitious people, but it was incredible what they managed to achieve. 

“In Jacquie Agnew’s final season as manager of Lewes we beat Brighton to secure a higher league finish than them. It was well known to all the players that Jacquie’s ambition was to leapfrog Brighton. This at my time of signing, I think three or four divisions below Brighton, seemed completely unrealistic. To accomplish this was an incredible achievement and the perfect send-off for a manager that had transformed the women’s team.”

2020/21 was a successful season for Lewes in the FA Women’s Championship, as the Rooks finished fifth in the league, their highest finish ever in women’s football. Newton was full of praise for manager Simon Parker and hopes that the Club can continue its rise.

“I believe Simon has done a fantastic job this season with the first team. It is a very competitive league and all clubs appear to be increasing the resource available to their women’s teams. I hope the progress continues at Lewes and I will certainly be looking out for their results every Sunday.”

An important figure on and off the pitch at Lewes, supporters and players will be sad to see Newton leave. However, she has one final message to her U18 players and supporters.

“My message to my players is thank You. Thank you for making my job easy with your enthusiasm and dedication. Thank you for making me look good with your highly consistent performances and thank you for letting me send you to the fence and back when you can’t stop talking.”

To the Lewes fans, Newton said: “Thanks for all the support you have shown me, my teammates and my players. See you in the stands soon either at The Dripping Pan or at Worthing FC.”

We wish Kelly Newton the best in her new role at Worthing FC and thank her for her time, effort and achievements as a player and as the U18s manager.

After joining Lewes back in the 2002/03 season as a player and retiring to become the U18s manager in 2018, Kelly Newton will be departing Lewes to start a new role at Worthing FC.

Newton made over 390 appearances for the Rooks and became first team captain, helping the Club through a number of promotions and winning trophies along the way. On retiring from first team football, she became the first Lewes player to join the Club’s new Hall of Fame.

Her new role will see her join former Lewes manager John Donoghue at Worthing, where she will be the first team assistant manager. Having spent three seasons as the U18s manager, Newton has mixed emotions about leaving the Club and the players she has coached.

“The pressures of a demanding full-time job accompanied with managing the U18s leaves very little time for anything else. Even when I am not working or at football, I find myself constantly thinking about them. I have neglected family in favour of both of these activities and it feels like the right time to readdress the balance in my life.

“I feel a mixture of pride and sadness stepping away from Lewes. The reaction I have had from the players since I have announced my departure has been incredibly sweet and shows that myself, Charlie and Greg have made a real impact in the short time we have worked together. I definitely underestimated the emotion we would all feel after our final game.

“I have been lucky to work with a group of players that have made me proud week in week out. The standout moment for me would be our match away to Herne Bay earlier this season. We went into the game as underdogs against a team that had just beaten league favourites Worthing. Every single player was outstanding in a highly competitive match. We deservedly went two goals in front, and we were looking like we were going to pull off an incredible win.

“Unfortunately, an injury to an opposition player during the second half meant the game had to be abandoned and the result would not stand. I was immensely proud of the performance of the players, but also the way they handled the situation. Their reaction was to simply move on and relish the opportunity to play them again.”

Along with Newton, assistant coach Charlie Carter will also be leaving Lewes. The departing U18s manager was full of admiration for her assistant, who will be joining her at Worthing.

“Charlie has exceeded all expectations over the past two seasons. Our morals and beliefs are aligned, and she instinctively knows when I am feeling outside pressure and always steps up at precisely the right moment. I am delighted Charlie will be joining me on my next project at Worthing.

“I get far too much credit as the manager of the U18s. All the good work that is associated with the U18s is a team effort. Charlie Carter, Greg Cross, David Sheppard and Paul Critchfield are a dream to work with. These are four selfless people that are only interested in creating the best environment for our players to thrive in.”

Along the way in her illustrious playing career, Newton won the London & South East Regional Cup, two Sussex Women’s Challenge Cups, the Ryman League Cup, the FA WPL Plate, two SECWFL Cups and became SECWFL Champion.

Joining Lewes from Brighton back in the 2002/03 season, Newton was delighted to see the progress at the Club in her first season and couldn’t be happier with the decision she made to join the Rooks. In her first year at The Dripping Pan, she was part of the side that won the SECWFL Cup.

“Signing for Lewes back in 2003 from Brighton is the best decision I have ever made. I have met so many friends for life and created the most incredible memories along the way. I knew when I signed that Jacquie Agnew and Ron Moore were ambitious people, but it was incredible what they managed to achieve. 

“In Jacquie Agnew’s final season as manager of Lewes we beat Brighton to secure a higher league finish than them. It was well known to all the players that Jacquie’s ambition was to leapfrog Brighton. This at my time of signing, I think three or four divisions below Brighton, seemed completely unrealistic. To accomplish this was an incredible achievement and the perfect send-off for a manager that had transformed the women’s team.”

2020/21 was a successful season for Lewes in the FA Women’s Championship, as the Rooks finished fifth in the league, their highest finish ever in women’s football. Newton was full of praise for manager Simon Parker and hopes that the Club can continue its rise.

“I believe Simon has done a fantastic job this season with the first team. It is a very competitive league and all clubs appear to be increasing the resource available to their women’s teams. I hope the progress continues at Lewes and I will certainly be looking out for their results every Sunday.”

An important figure on and off the pitch at Lewes, supporters and players will be sad to see Newton leave. However, she has one final message to her U18 players and supporters.

“My message to my players is thank You. Thank you for making my job easy with your enthusiasm and dedication. Thank you for making me look good with your highly consistent performances and thank you for letting me send you to the fence and back when you can’t stop talking.”

To the Lewes fans, Newton said: “Thanks for all the support you have shown me, my teammates and my players. See you in the stands soon either at The Dripping Pan or at Worthing FC.”

We wish Kelly Newton the best in her new role at Worthing FC and thank her for her time, effort and achievements as a player and as the U18s manager.