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Former Burnley striker Gifton Noel-Williams has returned to football after taking over as manager of Hellenic League Premier Division club Burnham where he will work alongside another former Watford striker Luther Blissett who is the club’s head of football development.

It’s eleven years since Gifton joined Burnley from Stoke and it was just over a year later that he scored his hat trick against Barnsley having come on as a substitute with the Clarets 2-0 down. But his playing career at professional level ended early due to his injuries; it’s over eight years since he last played professionally in England at the age of 28.

Now 36, he was under-18 manager at Northwood but has taken this opportunity to work with Blissett and he’s relishing it. “First things first, I love a challenge,” he told the Watford Observer. “I want to be a manager and to get to the level I want to get to you need to start somewhere.

“I have the chance to work with Luther at the start of a project which is going to take some time to come together. I like what the club is trying to do and they are creating a continuity and philosophy which I want to be a part of building.”

His tenure kicked off with a 6-3 defeat against Longlevens AFC, a 13th successive league defeat for Burnham, but Gifton was looking forward. “It was a good performance and I really did see a lot of positives,” he said of the performance. “There were a lot of things we did that I was pleased with.

“I always said it would take time to get to grips with some of the new things I am trying to implement, so overall I was pleased. We scored three goals for the first time this season and that is a big positive.”

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