AFC Totton AFC Totton Pitching In - Partners with Southern Football League

FA CUP AFC Totton v Berkamsted Jimmy Ball.jpg

“HE’S GOT NO VOICE; He’s four foot tall; To us he’s massive; He’s our Jimmy Ball…”

The 3-3 Southern League Premier Division South draw at Hendon on 30 January was Jimmy Ball’s 100th competitive game as AFC Totton’s manager, since his appointment as successor to Dan Sackman in March 2022.

He quickly made his mark, winning the first of four trophies in the shape of the SDFA Southampton Senior Cup in May 2022, before going on to make the 2022/23 season one of the most successful in the club’s entire 138-year history by lifting three trophies as Champions of the Southern League Div.1 South, winners of the Champion of Champions Super Cup and retaining the Southampton Senior Cup.

While life at Step 3 has inevitably been challenging at times, Totton remain well-placed among the runners and riders hoping to gallop into the National League South by the end of the current season. The away win at Hayes & Yeading on 17 February takes Jimmy’s record as Totton boss to:

P103  W68  D19  L16  F233  A89  Pts220*  GD+139
*Based on a drawn cup-tie earning 1 point, irrespective of the result of the penalty shoot-out.

This is a win rate of 66.0% across all competitions; in the Southern League alone, Jimmy’s win rate is 60.8%.

Jimmy Ball_100Matches_Feb2024.jpg

Goalkeeper Lewis Noice and centre-forward talisman Scott Rendell have made the most appearances under the former Forest Green Rovers boss with 86 and 81 appearances, respectively. The Sunburnt Assassin has scored the most goals during Jimmy's tenure, with 59 successful strikes to date.

Steve Brookwell, AFC Totton’s CEO, led the tributes to the Ton-Up Totton boss:

"We first became aware of Jimmy Ball’s interest in the job when Glenn Howes and James Wood left the club in October 2021, and he was happy to meet with us when the position became available again in early-2022.

"We needed to instigate a period of stability with a manager who could put in place processes and an ethos throughout the football club that would help us to be successful on the pitch, while also meeting our objective of establishing AFC Totton as a positive force in the local community.

"During our discussions, Sam Davies [AFC Totton’s Director of Football] and I were both very impressed with Jimmy’s footballing knowledge and experience, and with the vision he had to take the football club forward. He took on the role to the end of the 2021/22 season, and after just 10 games in charge, it was clear we had the best man for the job and all parties agreed to a long-term deal.

"Jimmy has not only delivered four trophies to date, he has also put in immense work behind the scenes to improve the quality of coaching at all levels, leading our Academy and youth sections, while implementing a set of professional standards that are the envy of clubs, even from higher levels of the pyramid, and enable us to attract players who might not otherwise consider Step 3 football.

"Inevitably, that success has led to some press and online speculation linking him to a number of vacancies; Jimmy’s name has been mentioned in connection with at least three jobs at EFL League Two clubs over the last six months. While the club would never stand in his way, Jimmy has demonstrated a wonderful commitment and loyalty to the club, and to the Board of Directors, by always maintaining an open and honest dialogue with us about his plans and ambitions. We are very fortunate to have him - and here’s to his next 100 games!"

What others within the club have had to say about Jimmy Ball reaching the 100 matches milestone...

Ron Atwill, AFC Totton fan on Mally's Corner: "As an AFC Totton fan and a member of Mally’s Corner, I would like to congratulate Jimmy on reaching 100 games for our great football club. Promotion and winning the treble last year was amazing, and we’re fighting for promotion again this season. What you’re trying to do is outstanding and we thank you. And as we always say, IN JIMMY WE TRUST."

Paul Maiden, AFC Totton's Honarary Life President: "I’ve been involved with this club since the amalgamation of Totton FC and Totton Athletic in 1975. During that time, we have had many ups and downs but under Jimmy’s managership and professionalism there is no doubt we are back on the up. We have enjoyed success in the league and extended runs in the major cup competitions, and we’re right in the thick of things again this season - what more could we ask for?!"

Benjy Rees, Lead Commentator on StagsRadio: "Jimmy’s consistent demand for high standards and professionalism has permeated throughout the club, reflected in our on-pitch success. His willingness to work with our media team has provided the opportunity for greater insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes and on the pitch, always remaining frank and honest, even after rare disappointing results, helping us to push coverage of AFC Totton onto another level."

By Ben Rochey-Adams

Image courtesy of Craig Hobbs Photography

Get your logo here