Alex Revell had it all to do as he picked up the reins in troubled times. And it almost seemed as if Boro’ were onto a winner. Taking charge after Graham Westley left his position in February 2020, the world came tumbling down around Revs; his first managerial appointment coming at a time when we were hurtling towards the National League. Oh, there was a pandemic to contend with too. You think you’ve heard of baptisms of fire?
Revs had been on the coaching team since retiring in summer 2019 and was pretty much a case of last man standing; the fourth man to lead us in a difficult 2019-20 campaign. In fact, he came to the helm with his first task to haul us off the foot of the League Two table. In the end, things off the field took over and we lived to fight another day in the Football League. For Revs, though, it was a chance to start afresh. Even though his side were deprived of supporters for the 2020-1 season, it looked as if a corner had been turned.
Alex Revell: Promising signs…
The 2020-1 season took a while to get going. But Revs soon found his stride; aided by the arrival of Dean Wilkins as his right-hand man. Under his leadership, Boro’ came close to a new all-time club clean sheets record. And there was an epic run of form that threw us into the fringes of the playoff debate. It didn’t ultimately happen – but, then again, it would’ve been too soon. Maybe that was still the case in the end. It meant that we had a lot of optimism going into the 2021-2 campaign, though; hoping to build on what Revs had started in his 18 months previous.
His second full season started well enough – including an opening day win, which had become rare for Boro’ since joining the Football League. But the results started to turn sour. Goals dried up at the right end… and poured in at the wrong end. Even encouraging performances in the FA Cup, League Cup, and Football League Trophy couldn’t help. Boro’ simply couldn’t make it work in the league. And it would ultimately cost Revs his job.
Alex Revell: The end of the line
It’s unfortunate to lose a man as passionate and as dedicated as Revs. It sounds like the normal cliches that are trotted out. Yet, there was a unanimous sense that our former striker had done everything within his power to make things work. For whatever reason, however, it didn’t. And you can make the argument that he was thrust into a position that was lose-lose by the powers that be. We doubt he ever expected to be in the position where he’d be offered the job when he was. The mark of the man was that he took it on and gave it his all.
Dignified even after it came to an end, Revs left his post as manager in November 2021.