luke garrard (manager)
FULL NAME: Luke Garrard
Garrard started his career as a YTS at Swindon Town, making his full professional debut at 18-years-old against Oldham Athletic on 26thApril 2003. He went on to make 17 appearances for the Robins before brief spells at Bishop’s Stortford, Boreham Wood and Northwood. Luke later joined AFC Wimbledon in March 2006.
A cult hero with Wimbledon’s fans, he made over 100 appearances for the club, mainly as a right-back but also occasionally in the centre of midfield. In November 2008, Garrard tore his cruciate ligament during training which kept him out for the rest of that season. From the start of the 2009-10 season, he made only occasional appearances for the Wombles, which saw him re-join the Wood in January 2010.
Luke couples his role as First Team Manager at Meadow Park with his role as the Academy Manager. The 31-year-old was originally an Academy Coach at the Club in 2008, before being promoted to Academy Director in 2012. Luke was the appointed Ian Allinson’s Assistant in 2013, a position he held for two-and-a-half-years. Upon Ian’s Departure in October 2015, Luke was appointed as First Team Manager, with his first game in charge a 1-1 draw away with Guiseley. Luke would steer the Wood away from the relegation zone in the club’s inaugural season in the National League. The side clinched survival on the last game of the season away to already relegated Welling United with a comprehensive 3-0 victory.
Luke’s stock has further risen in the following seasons, having last season taken the Wood to Wembley, for the first time in their history. The side achieved their highest ever league finish, in the National League play-offs, and Garrard steered the Wood to the Promotion Final against Tranmere Rovers, narrowly losing 2-1.