Funnell departs Mavericks following Mullets defeat

Simon Funnell, Picture by Derek Martin
Simon Funnell, Picture by Derek Martin

Simon Funnell left his role as Worthing United Football Club boss following Saturday’s Southern Combination League Premier Division defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Arundel.

A pre-planned holiday meant he would miss the final three games of the season and, after discussions with chairman Steve Taylor, a decision was reached that Funnell would not be with the Mavericks next season.

Matt Drew, Funnell’s assistant during his tenure as United boss, was due to take the team for the final three games but Taylor instead decided under-21 manager Matt Evans would take control of the team for the rest of the season, with Mark Currier working alongside him.

A difficult Easter has left Mavericks still in relegation danger. A 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Arundel was then followed by a 1-0 loss at Littlehampton Town less than 48 hours later.

Back-to-back defeats have seen United drop two places to 17th in the table, just two points and a place above third-from-bottom AFC Uckfield Town with two games to go.

After being handed the target of keeping Mavericks in the division following Nigel Geary’s departure back in November, United chairman Taylor thanked departing manager Funnell for his work and said: “We knew Saturday was Simon’s final game this season. After discussions, we came to an agreement that he would not be with us next season.

“He’s a manager with Ryman League ambition and we don’t have a budget here. Both Simon and Matt (Drew) worked exceptionally hard whilst with us and we wish them all the best in the future.

“We’ve still got work to do this season and I felt giving Matt (Evans) and Mark time to work with the team now was best for the team.

“The under-21s have done really well this season and we hope they get a win to keep us up in these final two games.”

Funnell’s assistant Matt Drew, who was due to take charge of the final three games, was a little frustrated after being relieved of his duties last Wednesday.

Drew was away for Saturday’s clash with Arundel but had hoped to guide Mavericks to safety in the final three games and said: “The original plan was for me to see out the final three games and see the team to safety.

“Steve (Taylor) called me to tell me I was no longer needed last Wednesday. It was a little frustrating as I wanted to see out the job both myself and Simon had done with the club.

“We’ve both really enjoyed our time with Worthing United and wish them well in the future. Hopefully they’ll be able to remain in the Premier Division.

“Myself and Simon have had some offers and we’ll be looking to be back involved somewhere next season.”

Interim manager Evans will take charge of Saturday’s home clash with Eastbourne Town, then the final game of the season at Newhaven a week later as they to ensure SCFL Premier Division safety in the final two games.

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