MARC Benterman is the man to take Witham Town forward after being appointed as the new first-team manager at Spa Road.

The ex-Halstead Town and Debenham LC boss, who was joint manager at Stansted FC last year as they finished runners-up in the Essex Senior League, is taking the helm after the departure of Mark Ashford at the end of last season and Benterman is bringing former Witham Town defender Paul King in as part of his management team.

Chairman Mark Nicholls is excited by the appointment and said he had "a really good vibe" about it.

Nicholls said the calibre of candidates had been high in what had been a very positive interview process but Benterman impressed the club's board.

The new boss lives in Witham, is happy to work within the tight financial constraints that the club has with its first-team budget and is enthused about Witham's policy of progressing and developing young talented local players.

"The interview process has been really positive and we've had some really good people apply," said Nicholls.

"We interviewed six guys and the quality was so strong, but the man we've gone for is someone who finished as runner-up in the Essex Senior League last year and impressed us so much.

"Marc (Benterman) is a local man who lives in Witham and he gets us as a club and bringing in Paul King as part of his team is superb as no-one knows the club better than Kingy.

"We had a very strong list of applicants and any one of them could have got it, but we had a second interview with Marc and he just stood out.

"It's long-term with Marc and we want to have stability and continuity now.

"He is happy with the budget that we've given him and he wants to work with young players and bring them through in the way that we are looking for.

"He is a Witham man as well and that's another important factor - he is chomping at the bit."

Nicholls was also pleased to see King return to Witham.

King was an integral part of the Witham side that rose to the Isthmian League premier division under Garry Kimble and was highly-thought of by Town fans.

"Having Paul King back at the club will bring a breath of fresh air," added Nicholls.

"We see this as being a really positive move for the club.

"We were up against it last year and we know we will be again this year, but that doesn't faze Marc and Paul.

"We all have a really good vibe about this.

"I'd also like to thank Stansted for all their help in this process as they have been really good in allowing us to get Mark on board."