'Gutted' Elphick resigns as Worthing manager

Gary Elphick watches on during the defeat to Margate. Picture by Marcus Hoare
Gary Elphick watches on during the defeat to Margate. Picture by Marcus Hoare

Gary Elphick revealed the reason behind his decision to resign as Worthing Football Club manager and said: "It was just getting too much for me."

Worthing's woeful start to the season continued on Saturday as they fell to a sixth straight Bostik League Premier Division defeat - a seventh in all competitions - as they were beaten 5-0 by Margate at their temporary Nyewood Lane home.

The loss left Worthing rooted to the bottom, still without a single point from six league matches this campaign.

Following the Margate thrashing, Elphick left the ground immediately after the final whistle and hours later the club announced he had resigned from his position as manager.

Elphick admitted a number of reasons had forced him to reach the decision to walk away and said: "It's been a really tough start to the season and I'm gutted with how things have gone so far. The ongoing issues with the pitch at Woodside Road, players leaving and a number of other problems have not helped us in anyway.

"I've had some great times at Worthing but I just felt I could not have given anymore than I was. This gives someone a chance to come in with fresh ideas, impetus and hopefully turn things around at the football club."

A small section of supporters booed after the final whistle following Saturday's defeat to Margate. Elphick walked over to the fans' and made them aware of his decision to step down.

He said: "It's never nice to hear people booing, I just went over to them at the end, thanked them for everything and made them aware of my decision to walk away. It does hurt when you hear that and other things being said, I've given my all for this club but it wasn't enough and results have not been good enough. The fans have been fantastic in my time here, especially at Woodside Road. Unfortunately due to issues with the pitch, that's something we haven't been able to experience so far this season and Woodside has been a bit of fortress for Worthing over the years."

Elphick, who originally joined the club as joint-manager alongside Jon Meeney just over two seasons ago before taking sole charge back in April, enjoyed some great success during his tenure.

The joint-management duo guided Worthing to then Ryman League South promotion via the play-offs at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, along with winning at National League Dagenham & Redbridge on their way to the second-round of the FA Trophy last season.

Elphick revealed those are memories he will cherish forever but feels Worthing may have been victims of their own success and said: "I've played at Conference level in my career and enjoyed some great times but some of the things with Worthing were best. I walked in the door and had a great set of players, who all wanted to play higher. Most of those have gone on to to do and replacing some of those has been hard. We haven't got the capacity to throw money at experienced players to join us and it leaves a lot on some of the younger guys left at the club."

Just as with the team he inherited two seasons ago, Elphick believes an incoming manager will be fortunate to guide the squad in the near future.

He added: "The younger players need to be given some time to develop. I think in a season or two, as their growth continues, you'll have a team like myself and Jon worked with, wanting to progress and moving Worthing forward."

Managerless Worthing make the trip to Dorking Wanderers in the league on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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