Jimmy Bullard to manage non-league side Leatherhead

Isthmian Premier Division side Leatherhead have announced the appointment of former Wigan and Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard as their new manager.

Bullard, 37, retired in 2012 after suffering with injuries but now takes on his first managerial role in English football's seventh tier.

Leatherhead are currently 23rd in the Isthmian Premier Division, having taken just five points from their opening seven games of the season, and had in recent days invited applications for the position after Mike Sandmann's departure.

Leatherhead chairman Richard Brady said on the club's official website: "The club are delighted to announce the appointment of Jimmy Bullard at first team manager with immediate effect.

"Jimmy has enjoyed a wonderful professional career as a professional at Fulham, Hull City, West Ham, Peterborough, Fulham, Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons and this will be his first appointment as a manager -- a career he is passionate about pursuing.

"Jimmy has gained a wealth of experience into a variety of management and coaching techniques as a player and is looking to bring the best of these experiences to Leatherhead Football Club, coupled with a very clear philosophy in terms of how he wishes his team to play.

"Jimmy has lived in Cobham for some years, and is excited at the upcoming challenge as well as being very impressed by the state of the art training facilities available at River Lane. Jimmy has held lengthy discussions with me as well as other senior club personnel in order to help in understand the clubs ethos as well as our ambitions for the future that we look forward to him being part of.

"Jimmy will be bringing in support staff, coupled with my help and contacts in the non-league football community in order we can look to strengthen the first-team squad.

"I know you will join me in welcoming Jimmy to the club at the very earliest opportunity."

Speaking to The Guardian after his retirement in 2012, Bullard had expressed an interest in working in management.

He said then: "I wouldn't be a soft touch, and my team would play totally differently to what the world is used to. It would be pure football -- none of this kicking it in the channels, getting after it and turning the full-back.

"My team would have quality play. Pass and move. They'd play high-intensity, pressing football. Proper football. Enjoyable football. Entertaining football. It would be so mesmeric the fans would never want to leave the ground. That's what I'd bring to the table: pure quality."

Since his retirement, Bullard has worked regularly in the media and appeared as a contestant in the reality show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" as well as featuring on comedy panel programme "Play to the Whistle."