SAMMY DONNELLY left his role as East Preston Football Club manager last night after seven months in charge.
The experienced boss, who is in his 41st year as a manager, took over in October when Dominic Di Paola and his management team left to join Ryman League South Division club Hastings.
EP finished the season 11th in Sussex County League Division 1 and it was a job which Donnelly admitted has been one of his toughest as a manager.
He said: “I’d rather make this decision now than halfway through a season as I think that is best for both parties.
“I don’t know what would have happened to the club if Jason Rutherford and I hadn’t gone there. We had just one player – Shaun Charles – when we got there and we had no reserve or youth team to fall back on.
“Every Saturday I couldn’t name a team until the players had turned up, so it was very difficult.
“It’s going to be up to people to judge whether I did a good job or not. In my heart of hearts, I think we did as I don’t think anyone else could have done what we did as we were thrown in at the deep end.
“We didn’t give up halfway through the season and I was always 100 per cent committed to see out the season.
“The club needs to rebuild completely and that is going to take time, so it’s going to be a tough two or three years for East Preston.
“You have to make decisions in football and I believe this is for the best but I wish East Preston and Terry Doyle all the best.
“I will also miss the young supporters at the club as they were tremendous every game.”
On what the future holds for him, Donnelly said: “When one door in football closes, another one opens.
“I’m in my 41st year as a manager, so this has been my life for a long time. I have a lot of experience and I’m sure there will be jobs out there.”