BREAKING NEWS: Hadleigh United search for new boss after Stuart Crawford resigns

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Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The man who led Hadleigh United to their greatest ever triumph, winning the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last season, has announced his depature from the club.

Stuart Crawford, one of the youngest managers in the league, being still in his 30s after a career-ending knee injury, has resigned from his post as manager of Hadleigh United.

Rumours are already circulating that he could be in line to take over the hot-seat at AFC Sudbury, following David Batch’s recent resignation to join higher-league St Neots Town.

But former AFC coach and caretaker manager Michael Shinn, now manager of Haverhill Rovers, has suggested on Twitter those rumours are wide of the mark.

A statement released on Hadleigh’s website on Sunday morning confirmed what Crawford himself told the Free Press on Friday, that he had resigned on New Year’s Day and would not be in charge of the Brettsiders’ first game of 2015.

“It is with regret that the club announces the resignation of first-team manager Stuart Crawford,” the statement from chairman Rolf Beggerow reads.

“Stuart came to the club as a former player 5 years ago and he has played a major part in raising the profile of Hadleigh United FC within the Eastern Counties (League).

“During his time at the club Stuart assembled a team that reached the last 8 of the FA Vase in 2012/13, the last 16 in 2013/14 and of course the historic crowning of Hadleigh United as champions of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division in 2013/14.

“Stuart has decided it’s time for him to step down due to a number of understandable reasons and the club wishes to place on record their thanks for a job well done.”

Beggerow added: “As a consequence, assistant manager Alan Dilloway has agreed to take charge of first team affairs together with first-team coach Ian Brown until a new manager is appointed.”

The statement ends by saying applications for the position should be sent in writing to Chairman Rolf Beggerow, who can be reached by emailing: RFBeggerow@aol.com with a closing date of Saturday, January 10.

In the first game without Crawford, who had taken up the helm back in the summer of 2010, Hadleigh went down to a 5-0 defeat to Premier Division league leaders Norwich United, in one of only four games to beat the effects of wet weather on Saturday.

* Who do you want to replace Stuart Crawford at Hadleigh and David Batch at AFC Sudbury? Email us by clicking on the author’s name at the top of this story (all comments may be chosen for publication in the Suffolk Free Press with the name supplied in the email address or email).