Chris Shaw has stood down as joint-manager at Eastwood Town just a month into the new season.
Shaw, who has had several spells at Coronation Park in both playing and coaching roles, was in charge of the Badgers’ squad for most of last season before being joined by Nick Hawkins, with the duo building a squad which has so far held its own well in Evo-Stik Division One South.
But while Shaw maintained his love and passion for the club remained as strong as ever, he stated the challenges and responsibilities associated with the playing and coaching role were proving difficult to juggle with life away from the club on several levels.
He said: “I’m gutted to be leaving but it wasn’t really viable for me to stay.
“I’ve been putting a lot of hours into the role but along with my job away from football it equates to a lot of long days and also costs me financially given the nature of the position and what it involves.
“There was only so much I could do and, seeing as I wasn’t playing as much either which I still enjoy, I felt it was time to step away.”
Shaw took time out to pay tribute to those at the club, both on and off the pitch, and says he hopes to return as a spectator in the future.
He said: “There are no hard feelings. This club has always been like a second home to me and I love it to bits. It doesn’t deserve to be where it is right now.
“I want to thank the fans for their support. I’ve been through so much at this club with them and have felt all the pain they’ve felt too.
“On the pitch things are perfect. The squad is probably the best since Paul Cox was there and I’ve loved every minute of it, but it was costing me more than I could afford both in terms of time and on a financial level and although it was hard to let go I felt I had to.”
Hawkins, who will now be in sole charge of the team for the time being, paid tribute to his departing colleague.
He said: “I think it had been on the cards for a little while. It’s hard combining playing and managing, which is part of the reason I’ve totally stepped back from playing and stayed on the sidelines.
“Hopefully things won’t be affected too much. Shawy’s a loyal servant to Eastwood Town and it’s sad to see him go as his efforts for this club over the years have been second to none.”
Badgers’ FA Cup exit - see page 39