KEITH Rowland has been appointed as Aveley’s new manager.

Rowland – who played for the likes of West Ham United and won 19 international caps for Northern Ireland during his playing career – succeeds Danny Dafter in the Parkside hotseat.

And Millers chief executive Craig Johnson is delighted to see Rowland take over the reins at the Isthmian North club.

Johnson said: "First of all, I must stress that we have been overwhelmed with the amount and quality of the applicants that have applied for the vacant manager’s position.

“We have spent many hours over the past eight days mulling over CV's, talking to potential candidates and interviewing a shortlist of selected applicants.

“In appointing Keith Rowland, we feel we have selected a man that has the necessary skills and attributes to take this club on our journey.

“Keith knows the club well having previously worked under Rod Stringer in what was our most recent successful period some 10 years ago.

“Since then, Keith has worked at the higher end of the non-league pyramid, gaining valuable managerial experience in recent seasons.

“We are delighted that Keith has accepted the role and look forward to a successful working relationship with him.

“I am sure the supporters will get right behind Keith, starting with our game at home to Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday."

Rowland enjoyed a distinguished playing career, where he featured in the Premier League and Football League.

A solitary international goal for Northern Ireland came in a 1-0 victory over Finland in October 1998.

Rowland represented Northern Ireland from 1993, when he was on the books of West Ham, until 1999.

The 47-year-old has been involved with Aveley before, with the former defender being on ex-boss Rod Stringer’s coaching staff as the Millers reached the Isthmian Premier League play-offs.

Rowland then followed Stringer to Braintree Town in 2010, where he was named first team coach, before being appointed assistant manager of the Iron when Alan Devonshire took over as boss.

Managerial experience has been gained at Wingate & Finchley, with Rowland enjoying a three-year tenure and guiding the club to two record-high league finishes along with a play-off place in 2017.

Rowland departed Wingate in October 2018.

Former Tilbury chief Joe Keith has been confirmed as Rowland’s assistant manager.

The new management duo will be in the dugout for the first time when Aveley welcome Maldon & Tiptree to Parkside on Saturday.