Former Albion football player Darren Freeman achieved three promotions in four seasons in his first management job at Whitehawk FC, taking the club from the Sussex County League to Conference South, the sixth tier of English football.

Mr Freeman also has previous experience playing for Fulham FC and Brentford FC as well as Brighton and Hove Albion.

Four years ago, Darren was approached by an energetic group of local businessmen who had a dream of creating a new thriving football club in Brighton.

Mr Freeman’s achievements so far have included: winning the Sussex County League; winning the Ryman Football League South division and the Sussex County cup played at the Amex stadium; and winning the Ryman Premier football.

Alan Payne, director of football at Whitehawk FC said: “This amount of success has seldom, if ever, been achieved by one club in such a short space of time and Darren has been an integral part of these events.

“Darren would be the first to acknowledge that he has recruited good staff and some outstanding local football talent to enable him to carry out his ambitions, this allied to ongoing continued support and backing from the directors of Whitehawk and this ambitious plan still has more aims to achieve.

“As well as being knowledgeable on the football front, his willingness to engage everyone on this journey is a major strength and is appreciated by everyone he is associated with.”

LAST YEAR'S WINNER

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Bundock was a worthy winner after all of his contribution to sport. It was Mark’s brother Michael who wrote in to nominate Mr Bundock for recognition of his tireless work.

He has been the football coach, manager and driver for Falmer Falcons football team for six years now.

The team was set up with the purpose of getting boys who couldn’t get a game elsewhere to play.

Nominees said that Mr Bundock is an enthusiastic and dedicated coach for the team.

In addition, he is not worried about the ability, background, race or temperament of the boys.

Mr Bundock fits in his football commitments around working as a postman and looking after two children at college as a single parent.

He does all the paperwork, attends many FA meetings and constantly spends time trying to improve his knowledge and skill set to help the boys – all at his own expense, in his own free time.

That’s why we thought it would be fitting to award him with last year’s Contribution to Sussex Sport.

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