Margate part company with boss Steven Watt after an eventful and enjoyable season in charge
MARGATE have parted company with manager Steven Watt, who has left the club by mutual consent with immediate effect tonight after only 15 months in charge.
The Hartsdown Park club finished their 46-game Bostik Premier Division season in seventh-place with 77 points, just missing out on the play-offs by a couple of points.
Billericay Town claimed the title with 99 points, while runners-up Dulwich Hamlet were promoted to the Vanarama National League South after beating Leiston and Hendon in the play-offs.
“The board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Steve for his hard work and dedication, adding the development of the football club during his tenure,” said a club statement.
“Tasked with helping stabilise the club, Steve’s impact has ensured solid foundations are in place to build upon.
“Everyone at Margate Football Club would like to thank Steve for his immense contribution – he will always remain a respected and highly valued figure at Hartsdown Park.
“Mike Sandmann and Steve Brown will work together and manage the team and all football related matters moving forward for the foreseeable future.
“They are currently working hard behind the scenes to retain players and reshape the squad for the upcoming 2018-19 season," said the statement, which was published on www.margate-fc.co.uk.”
Watt, 33, posted on Twitter: “Thanks to everyone at Margate FC. It was an eventful and enjoyable season with you all. Met some great people and I wish nothing but success for the football club. Thanks to all the fans for your support during my time at the club. Best of luck for the future.”
There have been other departures at the club with under 23 manager Jay Stubberfield leaving to join Matt Longhurst’s management team at Bostik South East Division side East Grinstead Town.
“Being crowned Champion of Champions was richly deserved and is a great way to sign off. I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” Stubberfield Tweeted after his side beat Wingate & Finchley 3-2 to decide the overall champions.
“But bigger thanks to Steven Watt who gave me the opportunity to work at Margate when not many other people would have done.
“My group of players have made memories and friendships that will last a lifetime and none of that would have been possible without you.”
Goalkeeper Lenny Pigeley, midfielders Jack Evans and Sam Blackman and striker Jay May have left the club, following 33-goal striker Jordan Chiedozie out of the door.
Blackman has signed for Concord Rangers on an one-year contract. The Vanarama National League South side are managed by Sammy Moore, who signed former Dartford winger Ryan Hayes on a two-year deal yesterday.
But Margate have announced that supporters’ player-of-the-season, Liam Friend, has signed a contract to stay at the club.
Friend has turned down offers from Vanarama National League South sides to put pen to paper on a new deal this afternoon.
The former Folkestone Invicta defender told the club website: “I'm really happy to get my new contract all agreed. I had a great first season at the club and it was an easy choice to sign on again, ready for next season."
"It's one I'm looking forward to already, with the support we have across the football club, I think it will be a season to push on and really enjoy together."
Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk