Part Two of this FA Cup week special takes a look at the man in the opposition dug out on Sunday afternoon. The man charged with taking Bishop’s Stortford into the Second Round and with continuing a superb start to the season is Rod Stringer, a man who not only has past experience in promotion from the Conference South but is also now in high demand in the non-league pyramid. Chelmsford City are the latest to reportedly show interest in prizing him away from the Prokit UK Stadium.
Stringer was named Stortford manager in December 2011, replacing former Spurs keeper Ian Walker as the man at the top. On taking the job, the Bishops were third from bottom of Conference North but Stringer completely turned around their fortunes and led them to a tenth place finish by the end of that season.
A seventeenth place finish a year later was followed by a switch back to the Conference South for the current campaign and the club have shot out of the blocks with eight wins from twelve and five out of six at home.
Stringer is looking to continue a personal record that is making more and more teams stand up and take notes in the non-league circles. He was a success at Aveley and took them to the Ryman League Division One North championship in 2009 having learned his trade at Barking and Barkingside, both from the Essex Senior League.
He moved on to take charge of Braintree Town in May 2010 and in his only season in charge led them to the Conference South championship. Just two weeks after the end of the season, though, he was looking for a new job again when financial negotiations with Chairman Lee Harding completely broke down.
The Brains’ loss was Bishop’s Stortford’s gain though and it looks as though Stringer is on course for another crack at promotion. Victory against the Cobblers on Sunday afternoon would add a notable bonus feature to an ever growing C.V.