PUSHING FOR THE SUMMIT
Meakin came close to promotion with the Sarnies – rivals in Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central – last season and had a year left on his contract but turned his back on all that in favour of a third spell in charge at Holloways Park.
New Rams' chairman Chris Coyle's plans for newly-renamed Town seem to have been enough to persuade the former Northwood boss to tread the back to Buckinghamshire.
Meakin admitted feeling guilty about the U-turn but says he would rather have it that way than be left with a sense of "if only" had he turned down the opportunity.
“Things were all good at Egham and, to be honest, this opportunity was bad timing as I wanted to see out the last year of my contract at least,” he said.
“I had no thoughts to leave but felt if I did not take the opportunity I could be looking over the fence thinking about what might have been.
“I feel I've let people down at Egham as they were good to me but, at the same time, I can't worry about hurting people's feelings at the expense of progressing myself.
“It is a gamble but it is one I've chosen to take. Hopefully, in 12 months' time, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating rather than people being able to say I should have stayed where I was.”
Coyle has wasted no time laying down a marker, ditching the club's associations with the FAB Academy – a key source of players over the last few seasons, many of whom had progressed to professional clubs.
It seems Coyle feels that was at the cost of the club's identity, so Meakin is back to adopt a more traditional non-league model – building a team to challenge for promotion.
“The idea of FAB might have worked but it was just its own entity really,” said Meakin.
“All the players who left for pro clubs just went and the club got nothing for them.
“The new chairman clearly wasn't having that and now it is all about Beaconsfield.”
While there is new money in the pot, a rare sight at Beaconsfield, Meakin won't be seeing much of it to begin with at least.
The emphasis will be on a ground upgrade, making the club more social media savvy and establishing an U21 side for some continuity.
“There is money, but no more than I had at Egham,” added Meakin – “we've not got a million dollars.
“It will be about infrastructure first rather than paying players more than they are worth.”