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Shane Wardley on stepping down as manager of Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Hadleigh United

Hadleigh United have announced that manager Shane Wardley has resigned from his post with immediate effect.

Wardley, who won the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title with Hadleigh as a player, was appointed to the position 14 months ago with the remit of keeping the struggling club at Step 5.

He achieved that aim – albeit via a reprieve after a 21st-placed finish – but this season has seen the Brettsiders become entrenched in another relegation battle.

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Hadleigh United..Pictured: Hadleigh Manager Shane Wardley ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (6439054)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Hadleigh United..Pictured: Hadleigh Manager Shane Wardley ....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (6439054)

They are currently three points from safety following Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Great Yarmouth Town, which has proven to be Wardley's last match at the helm.

Reserve managers Andy Lambert and Andrew Crisp will take charge of Saturday's home game against Walsham-le-Willows (3pm).

Speaking to the Free Press this afternoon, Wardley's honest interview revealed it was far from an easy decision to make, but one he felt would be best for the future of the club.

"It was hard to do and I am gutted I am walking away," he said.

"The club brought me in to take the club forward and I just felt 14 months ago we were in a relegation battle and we are in the same scenario now. I just felt I had not done my job.

"I have tried to get players in but for one reason or another they have not come along.

"I thought if another manager comes in with fresh ideas and fresh faces that will kick-start things for the last 16 games.

"Things have not been going too great of late and it has just been frustrating.

"From my point of view I do not know whether I set my standards too high or expected too much."

He said he only made the decision in the early hours of Wednesday morning, following taking training on Tuesday evening.

"We had a training session and one or two things did not go to plan.

"I was sitting at home and did not get to sleep untilabout 2am and then I reflected that if I was thinking about it that much why am I doing this?

The new manager of Hadleight United FC, Shane Wardley..Pic- Richard Marsham. (6450139)
The new manager of Hadleight United FC, Shane Wardley..Pic- Richard Marsham. (6450139)

"It was a bit of a shock decision but I felt it needed to be done."

He added nothing would please him more than to see the club he won the Eastern Counties title with in 2013/14 remain in the top tier come the end of the season.

"I love Hadleigh to bit and I do not want to see them go down.

"Did I make a rash decision? I'm not too sure.

"But in lift you have to go with your gut feeling and that was mine on Wednesday morning.

"I could have seen it out to the end of the season and let us drift away and be relegated but I do not want that and the club do not want that."

Despite their current position in the table, he believes he leaves a good squad behind that are capable of more than they have shown.

"It is frustrating as I know there is potential there but they have to do it week in, week out.

"I do believe one or two new faces are needed, not wholesale changes, to give the squad a lift. Hopefully they can turn it around."

The 38-year-old has ruled out an immediate return to management, saying he will enjoy the break between now and the end of the season and use it as a chance to continue playing veterans football for Whitton United, while also considering his nephew's offer to play for his Claydon third team.

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