Former Aylesbury FC manager Paul Bonham joins Bedford Town

Paul Bonham

Former Buckingham Athletic youth & Aylesbury FC manager Paul Bonham has this week joined Bedford Town FC as coach, two weeks after leaving the Haywood Way club. Former Luton Town FC goalkeeper Nathan Abbey has taken over the role as Bedford first team manager following a club management reshuffle, and one of his first appointments has seen Paul taken on as first team head coach, with The Eagles issuing the following statement:

Nathan Abbey has agreed to take on the role of Manager of the football club. Nathan has been involved since July 2018 at the Eagles, and the Executive Committee would like to put on record our support for his vision in taking the club forward over the coming years. Gil Octave, again someone who has been supportive of the club for a number of years, has agreed to become assistant manager. The club would also like to welcome Paul Bonham to the coaching staff. Paul is an experienced coach, having recently managed Aylesbury FC and Oxford United youth. The club can also confirm that Brian Mapley and John Dreyer have left the club, and we wish them well for their futures.

Speaking to, Manager Nathan Abbey commented “After an in-depth chat with the gaffer Jon Taylor, I’ve accepted the roll of become the sole first team manager of the football club. Having stepped up at the start of the season, taking on the joint manager role, JT has put his full trust in me to fly solo steering the team in the right direction, and continuing on from the work we had already started.
JT brought me to the football club last season with a vision of how far he believed the football club will go. He, along with the other club officials, have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to steer this superb football club into a fantastic direction. The club is going from strength to strength week by week, and we will all play our part on this continuing.

I’m fully prepared and committed to match Jon’s ambitions that he has shown on and off the pitch. I know, without question, JT didn’t make this decision lightly. Equally I’m very humble and grateful for the opportunity he gave me to work alongside him. I am pretty sure being the football man he is, we will still work heavily together on player recruitment and on the field affairs. I value his opinion and advice, so I don’t expect any of that to change.

It was important to me to keep the management structure familiar and recruitment in house. Within that Gil Octave has agreed to step up and will become the assistant manager and assist me on all football matters. Gil has worked with JT for many years and was also hand in hand with me and JT throughout last season and this. He is a valuable member of the club and it will be business as usual for him. We have also brought in Paul Bonham as head first team coach. This was a role that we needed to fill swiftly after losing John Dreyer to Oldham Athletic Fc. Paul will give us vital experience with his already proven pedigree at this level of football. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Paul to the club.

I would like to thank our fans for your continuous support. I look forward to marching on with you all.”


This week Sports Shots caught up with Paul:


How big an opportunity is joining Bedford Town for you?

It’s a brilliant opportunity for me, Bedford Town is a fantastic club and it’s great to be part of something special. I feel very privileged to be in the position I’m now in

How did it all come about?

John Dreyer, who was previously the first team coach has moved to Oldham Athletic, so the management team were looking for someone to come in and fill that position. I was contacted a couple of weeks ago and met with Nathan and John and didn’t hesitate to accept the position when offered it

What influenced your decision to leave AVDFC?

It was a very difficult decision to leave AVDFC but I felt it was the right time to step down, I leave behind a club that has a great committee who are one hundred percent committed to making a huge success and a squad that are capable of great things , I wish them all the best in the future. I have made some great friendships at the club and will be down very soon to cheer on the boys …. Just on the other side of the fence

What is your vision of your new role at Bedford?

Being involved in such a great club will only improve me, having only been at the club a short time already I can see the standards and expectations are set very high. This will challenge me every time I step onto the grass to take a session or support the gaffer on match day

How big a sleeping giant is the club in your opinion?

The club are set of for big things, the facilities and infrastructure in my opinion would not be out of place at national league south / north level – step two. The fan base is fantastic so it’s the job of the management team and playing squad to do their jobs and hunt down promotion and put this club where it belongs

Is coaching more your thing, or would you still consider management again in the future?

I love coaching so the position is perfect for me, it’s a good opportunity to continue my coaching journey. I’m confident my stint in management will allow me to support Nathan, as I know the daily pressures from management can take its toll. I’m focused fully on coaching now so getting back into management isn’t in my thoughts

Sports Shots would like to thank Paul for his time this week, and wish him the very best of luck in his new role

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