Boss search put on hold

Simon Garner will leave his role at Shawbridge after Saturday's game
Simon Garner will leave his role at Shawbridge after Saturday's game
0
Have your say

Clitheroe chairman Anne Barker has said that the search for Simon Garner’s successor will pick up pace at the end of the month.

Clitheroe chairman Anne Barker has said that the search for Simon Garner’s successor will pick up pace at the end of the month.

Player-manager Garner revealed that he would be stepping down from his managerial role at Shawbridge following the recent loss to Brighouse Town.

The 33-year-old, who will take charge of his final game for the Blues against Witton Albion at Wincham Park, is departing alongside assistant Ryan Parr and coach Jordan Allen.

“Once we’d accepted their resignation we decided, after promises that they would take us until the end of the season, that we’d wait until everything was done and dusted,” said Barker.

“When we get to the end of April we’ll start to look at it then. We’ve had a few CVs sent in, there have been seven or eight expressions of interest.

“There have been a couple that I’m surprised at but most of them I’d expected.”

Barker added: “You get a handful of people from local clubs who are looking to progress in the game that apply every time something becomes available.

“However, there have been a few we weren’t aware of so we’ll have to look at those in closer detail when the time comes.”

Garner guided Clitheroe to the LFA Challenge Trophy final at the Macron Stadium last term, where they lost to Chorley, and has gone on to exceed all expectations this season.

The Ribble Valley outfit had been enlisted as one of the favourites for the drop but the midfielder maestro was able to engineer a play-off push.

And Barker acknowledges that sourcing a replacement will be a chore after the Blues jumped as high as third in the Evo-Stik First Division North table.

“Simon has done a really good job in the two-and-a-half seasons that he’s been with us. I think the worst we can finish now is eighth and we would’ve taken that all day long in August.

“For the vast majority of the season teams have been chasing us and that’s unheard of in my time here.”

Barker added: “We need to find the right character to move the club on again now. But whoever is appointed will be compared to Simon which makes it difficult.

“There are no guarantees of success but the important thing for me is to find somebody who is honest and somebody who I can trust. That’s the priority. That’s what I had with Simon.”

Meanwhile, Jimmy Heywood was the big winner at the club’s awards evening when picking up Players’ Player and Managers’ Player of the Year accolades.

Sefton Gonzales was recognised as the Supporters’ Player of the Year while the striker also finished the term as the Blues’ leading scorer.

Brandon Barski won the Young Player of the Year award.