Interim Clitheroe FC chairman Lee Sharples has been pleasantly surprised by the calibre of candidates for the managerial post

Former Clitheroe boss Lee Ashforth
Former Clitheroe boss Lee Ashforth

Interim Clitheroe chairman Lee Sharples revealed that a couple of applicants for the club’s vacant managerial post have taken him by surprise.

The deadline for candidates to submit their CVs has already passed and now board members at Shawbridge are sieving through their mail in an attempt to whittle the numbers down.

Sharples, who is standing in for outgoing chairperson Anne Barker, has been encouraged by the level of interest that has been shown since a decision was made to part company with Lee Ashforth and by the calibre of those throwing their hat in to the ring.

The most outstanding candidate, who will be appointed following a formal interview process, will become the Blues’ fourth manager in the last 12 months.

“There has been quite a few applications come through,” confirmed Sharples. “Some have been very interesting ones.

“The deadline passed on Tuesday so we’re looking through them and hopefully we can get some candidates through the door for interviews as soon as possible.

“We need to get moving and get somebody in place ahead of the new season. We’ve been happy with the level of interest.”

He added: “There are a few people that you wouldn’t expect to have applied for the managerial post.

“We never really knew what to expect but we’ve got a great vision of what we would like going forwards. People seem to be buying in to what we want.

“We want to make an appointment as soon as we possibly can but we’ve got to go through the whole process first.”

The club have a general idea of the type of individual they want to take Clitheroe forward in the Evo-Stik West Division, but Sharples won’t be rushed in to making a decision.

Lessons have been learnt in recent months after they were left scrambling around for a replacement when Stuart Mellish failed to live up to his billing.

The former Warrington Town boss, who was appointed after Simon Haworth left the club, survived just eight games in all competitions last season.

Sharples said: We need somebody who can work within our budget but it’s not something we’re prepared to rush in to.

“We need to make sure all the boxes are ticked. We don’t want to be back in a position that we found ourselves in at the start of this season.

“We’re looking for somebody who has a good knowledge of football in the local area and has plenty of contacts in the region. That’s massive.

“We need somebody with experience as well. We found some of that out this season, but that’s nothing to discredit anything Lee [Ashforth] did. We don’t want to get this wrong.

“I can’t go in to too much detail at present but one or two applications have opened our eyes.

“We want to bring somebody in we know and trust, then it’s down to them who they bring in to the club with them.

“They need the right people on board as well, somebody then can trust because they’ll be forming part of the management team.

“We’ll have to see who matches the criteria. Clitheroe is a lovely place to come to, it’s a warm and welcoming club within a town that’s expanding.

“Everybody who visits always speaks highly of the football club, and applicants have said the same in their cover letters.”