Whitton United’s Suffolk Senior Cup-winning manager Ian Brown is understood to be in pole position to be named the new Hadleigh United boss.
Club officials were due to discuss applicants last night — believed to be headed up by caretaker Brown, who masterminded a 6-0 home win over FC Clacton on Saturday.
Although chairman Rolf Beggerow was unavailable for comment yesterday, Hadleigh seem set to make an announcement in the next few days to give the new manager a full week to work with his players ahead of hosting — ironically, if Brown is announced as the new boss — Whitton United.
The former Northampton Town and Bristol City striker played for a host of non-League clubs in the area including Sudbury Town, as well as being a first-team coach at AFC Sudbury before joining Hadleigh in the same role this season.
In his last manager’s role, he led Whitton to second in the Ridgeons League First Division (now Thurlow Nunn League) before promotion was denied due to ground grading issues in 2011.
“I think the club know me and I think my record in terms of a player and management is there for all to see,” he said. “I have been put in caretaker charge at the moment and I am sure all will be revealed in the next few days.”
Crawford — the most successful boss in the club’s history, having led them to the Premier Division title last season, as well as to their most successful FA Vase run (quarter-finals 2012/13) — resigned on New Year’s Day having been unable to get over the disappointment of losing 10 senior players after the club opted not to take promotion.
Assistant Alan Dilloway, who managed Hadleigh in their first season in the Eastern Counties (then Ridgeons) League from 1991 and was put in caretaker charge with Brown, confirmed he had not put his name forward.
“I have been there and done that,” he said, “I was 32 and I am 52 now and have had 25 years in management.”
But he added: “Whoever takes over will not need to bring in a host of new players, as these players here just need to be stabilised to get us back to where we were last season.”
Of Saturday’s big win, which followed a 5-0 defeat at leaders Norwich United since Crawford left, Dilloway said: “Saturday was the first time I have been able to play players in their correct positions.
“When they are available and fit, these players have a lot of quality, and they showed that on Saturday.”
In the First Division on Saturday, leaders Long Melford travel to Debenham LC, Halstead Town host Stowmarket Town and Cornard United host Woodbridge Town (all 3pm).