New chief executive committed to success
Denise Peach admits she needed little time before accepting the role as new chief executive of Ashford United.
The 54-year old (pictured right), who lives in Kennington, takes over from Patsy Brett who stepped down due to mounting work commitments.
The mother of three, who also has seven grandchildren, said: “I knew in a second I would do it.
“From when I first came here three years ago and took on the challenge, I started to fall in love with the club. I am committed and will work hard to help make it succeed as part of the team.
“We want to push the club onwards and upwards. That’s (owner) Don Crosbie’s view and there are exciting times coming and an opportunity to be part of something that will only grow.
She added: “My background is as a chef and I was running my own business. That is how I got know (former owner Tony Betteridge).
“He wanted me to do some catering and then after a short time, he wanted me to run everything as facilities manager ”
“Things were quite run down and I have been working hard to raise the standards.
“It’s been great to have Don back because he is of the same mind as me.
“People want to come and enjoy things at Homelands and if things are broken everywhere, it’s not good.
“We have been going through the whole building – toilets, sinks, electrics. It’s quite and old building now and hasn’t had much done to it.
“It was a hard sell and difficult when you have a hall that looks like a working men’s club. Everything looked a bit shabby but things are changing
“We have completely redecorated the function hall to make it much more appealing and as a result of all the hard work, we are getting more functions and weddings. We have a licence for ceremonies and have hosted three so far.”
On her new job, Denise said: “I will be part of the decision-making process and want to try and get out more to help raise the profile of the club.
“But apart from that, it is going to be continuing what I have been doing already.”
One of six siblings – with three brothers and two sisters – Denise is a football and cricket fan
She said: “I was born in Notting Hill and QPR were my local club. Rodney Marsh was my hero and I stalked him as a young girl and got his autograph a thousand times.
“I found out he has had connections in the past with Ashford when I came here and maybe we would have kept him on board had I been here.”
Denise says the next thing on Ashford’s wishlist is obtaining planning permission for the wrap-around stadium.
She said: “All the preparation has nearly been done, it’s a big and expensive thing to fund. We need to make sure we have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s before we even make the final application.
“Hopefully, that will happen soon.”
The new-look Homelands is a sure sign of the club’s ambition