PETE Matthews has ‘reluctantly’ quit as manager of Ferring Football Club after they were denied promotion on ground grading issues.
The Glebelands side finished runners-up in County League Division 3 after a fine season and were hoping promotion would follow.
However, they have been turned down by the Sussex County Football League owing to the lack of hard standing around the pitch, no floodlights, and the fact seats had not having been installed in the stand.
The club hoped to have seats in imminently, while permission for floodlights was expected in the autumn when they could also install the hard standing.
Matthews, who took the helm at Ferring in November, 2012, has cited he feels he would not be able to motivate himself or the players again next season for another assault on the same league.
He said: “Despite all of the efforts of myself, my management team and most of all the players to achieve a promotion spot, the club are not able to meet the ground grading criteria at this point.
“I have a mix of emotions regarding the situation, anger, disappointment and sadness. The past season has been a success.
“The current squad of players deserve to play at a higher level, and, as a team, and individually, they are more than capable of doing so.”
Matthews continued: “I have reluctantly resigned from my position as I have explained to Deane (Culver, chairman) that it would be impossible to remotivate myself, and ultimately the players, for another season following the disappointment and frustration of achieving the end goal this season on the pitch, only to see the opportunity of promotion withdrawn by others.”
Despite the blow, Matthews has hailed his team and the club, and said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the past couple of years. I will miss all involved at the club and thank them all for their help and assistance. I’m unsure of what I’ll do personally now, as I have indicated it would have been nice to accept the challenge of managing at the next level with this group.”
Ferring chairman Deane Culver said: “Ferring Football Club would like to take this opportunity to thank Pete for his efforts over the last two years.
“He has brought the best out of the squad he inherited, and, although we were initially disappointed that the bigger picture wasn’t looked at with regards to our promotion ambitions, I can understand that certain players will want to play at a higher standard.
“With regards to the ground grading, we didn’t make this in time, due to a few reasons. Our pitch is on a public ground and the process has been slowed somewhat. I am confident that we will progress soon and be ready for next season.
“The management were kept informed throughout the season, and, even at the last hour, we thought we might have a chance. The SCFL are under added pressure from the FA to do the right thing, so we knew there wouldn’t be any special favours, though. We move on and are looking for a new manager to move us to the next chapter.”
To apply for the vacant managerial position, contact the club on 01903 242272.