Chairman Phil Turner has insisted Jamie Godbold remains the right man to be in charge of AFC Sudbury when they return to Ryman League Division One North next season.
The Yellows suffered their first relegation since forming in 1999 on Easter Monday when, just an hour before they kicked off their Suffolk derby against rivals Needham Market, Burgess Hill Town’s 1-1 draw with Worthing in the day’s early kick-off ensured they could no longer finish outside of the bottom four.
But while their first-ever season in the Ryman League Premier Division has ended in relegation, AFC chairman Turner has backed boss Godbold, who guided the club to the Division One North title in 2015/16, to push his side forward next season.
When asked if he would like Godbold to stay in the hotseat, Turner told the Free Press: “I sincerely hope so. I’ve got no intention of replacing him. I hope Jamie can get over the disappointment of this season and go again with us next season.
“I’ve got nothing but admiration for the pair of them (Godbold, and his assistant Andy Reynolds, who joined the club together from Kirkley & Pakefield in January 2015).
“They are two good, young managers and if we keep them the club will only go forward.”
Sudbury’s maiden campaign in the Ryman League’s top flight had begun promisingly, a 2-2 draw with last season’s beaten play-off finalists Dulwich Hamlet on the opening day kicked off a six-match unbeaten run in the league.
A 5-1 thrashing of Grays Athletic propelled The Yellows up into sixth place on October 11, and although their flying start to the season then tailed off, Godbold’s side did not drop into the bottom four until March 7, following a 4-1 defeat away at Wingate & Finchley.
That reverse at the Maurice Rebak Stadium last month would prove to be the start of a run of eight games without a win, a streak which saw their fate sealed and relegation confirmed earlier this week.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw against Needham on Easter Monday, AFC boss Godbold expressed his desire to stay as manager at the club next season.
“Of course, yes (I’d like to stay),” he said. “If not, I’ll have a nice, relaxing summer holiday!
“The chairman has been real supportive since my time here. I think we’ve had a tough year.
“We always knew it was going to be tough, having achieved what we achieved last year and going and experiencing something the club’s never experienced before (playing at Step Three).
“We’ve had a terrific Trophy run, the furthest the club’s ever got to (second round proper), so we do have stuff to shout about.
“But obviously, it’s really too early because I’m feeling very sorry for myself.
“As hard as it is, there’s a little bit of a weight lifted off our shoulders. We’ll sulk for a day or two and then we’ll get on.”