HEYBRIDGE Swifts have appointed former Southend United boss Steve Tilson as their new first-team manager.

Tilson, who had been working as assistant manager at the Aspen Waite Arena, has stepped up to the manager's role after Julian Dicks' resignation.

Tilson will be assisted by former Southend player Alan McCormack, at the Pitching In Isthmian League division north club.

His first game in charge will be tomorrow's big derby against neighbours Maldon and Tiptree.

Five straight defeats from the start of the season proved too painful for Dicks who quit the Swifts managerial hot seat for a second time, last week.

Dicks was nicknamed ‘The Terminator’ in his days at Upton Park but he brought the axe down on himself just 80 days after taking charge at the Aspen Waite Arena for a second time.

Dicks said: “As of this morning [last Wednesday], I have resigned from my role as manager. It wasn’t an easy decision but, at this time, it is the right one for me and my family.

“I appreciate all the support I have received from Gary and [vice-chairman] Steve [Spreadbury], the fans and the club as a whole.

“Now the pitch is ready, I’m sure things will come together. I wish the club all the best going forward.”

Now Swifts chairman Gary White has appointed Tilson to help revive a club who moved off the the bottom of the division one north table with last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Aveley.

Tilson, 55, had two spells with Southend as a player, making nearly 250 appearances and twice winning promotion.

He took as the Shrimpers' first-team boss in 2003 and spent seven years in charge at Roots Hall.

Tilson oversaw two successive promotions during his time as Southend boss, taking the Shrimpers up to the Championship.

He left his role as Southend boss in 2010 and later went on to manage Lincoln City and Canvey Island.

Now he has been given the chance to revive Swifts' fortunes, beginning with this weekend's big Blackwater derby.