EASTWOOD Town joint-manager Craig Armstrong has announced he is standing down from his role.
Armstrong, who along with Jamie Brough took the reins at Coronation Park in June, says he plans to continue at the club in a playing capacity if required.
But the news will be a bitter blow to Badgers fans, with Armstrong a key factor in bringing some of the current squad to the club.
The news first broke on Armstrong’s Twitter feed on Tuesday afternoon, with the player saying: “I’d like to announce my resignation of @etfcbadgers manager as of today. I will be considering my future as a player later today.”
Further tweets appeared to indicate he felt he didn’t have the support of the club’s owner, who he claims to be Brough.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Armstrong was reluctant to go into too many details behind his decision, but confirmed he was no longer joint-manager.
He said: “For several reasons I felt my position as manager had become untenable and I decided to relinquish the role.
“I don’t wish to delve into details at this point but I am happy to remain an Eastwood Town player until I’m told otherwise.”
Brough, meanwhile, said he expected official statements to be released on Thursday - after the Advertiser had gone to press - but expressed his regret at what had happened.
He said: “It was with great regret that Craig’s resignation was accepted after he made it clear he wanted to move on.
“The players were addressed on Tuesday night and the response was excellent, with the whole squad assuring me they are fully committed to Eastwood Town. That included the three or four players signed by Craig, player-coach Lee Morris among them.
“We now have to put this behind us and look forward to Saturday’s game at Nuneaton.”
Club captain Steve Istead re-iterated the players’ desire to get behind the remaining management team.
He said: “We are disappointed Craig has decided to leave and wish him well in the future,
“We have already sat down as a team and discussed the situation with staff and I can confirm we are totally behind Jamie, Lee and Jason Maguire and are committed to a successful future with Eastwood Town FC.”
The news leaves a cloud hanging over the Badgers’ season just eight games in, with form on the pitch struggling after five winless games.
The latest of those was at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday where the hosts ran out 2-1 winners.
Eastwood face a trip to Nuneaton Town on Saturday, a side who currently sit eighth in the league table and who recorded a 2-1 win over the Badgers in the corresponding fixture last year.
That game will be followed by the visit of Bishop’s Stortford to Coronation Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm)
The Hertfordshire side, who were shifted across from the southern half of the Blue Square’s regional divisions in the summer, have struggled so far and are third from bottom.
League leaders Hyde, who have a 100 per cent record from their nine games so far, then visit Eastwood on September 24.