Assistant manager Jono Richardson makes the very tough decision to step down from his Sheppey United role to resume playing duties elsewhere

Sunday 26th July 2020

SHEPPEY UNITED manager Ernie Batten begins the search for a new assistant manager after Jono Richardson left the club for a playing role elsewhere.

In a statement, chairman Matt Smith said: “It is with regret that today I had to accept the resignation of assistant manager Jono Richardson.

“Jono has been nothing short of a revelation in his role at the club. I tried everything in my power to keep him but unfortunately he wanted to concentrate on playing next season, which at the age of 31, I do understand.

“On behalf of the entire football club I would like to put on record our thanks to Jono and wish him all the best for the coming season.

“The club will be opening up applications for the assistant managers role in due course.”

Richardson, a centre-half, revealed his reasons behind his move from the Holm Park outfit.

“Today I have made a very tough decision to step down from my position and leave the club,” he said.

“Over the past few months I have invested time in my own fitness which has given me a desire to go back and play.  I’m 31 and wouldn’t want to regret stopping playing too early later on in life.

“Matt, Ernie and I discussed many possibilities but I personally feel completing both roles of assistant manager and player is far too difficult to achieve the levels of performance both require to be successful.

“The club are in a superb position to now progress to the next level. Recruitment has been especially strong this summer, which puts the team in a great position ready for the new season. All of this making my decision to leave a very hard one.

“I am very confident knowing that by leaving at this stage with the squad assembled for the new season this team is only destined for a successful season.

“I’m extremely proud of the progress that we’ve made during my time at the club. The professionalism is of a club much higher up the football pyramid and the hard work and investment behind the scenes allows this to happen.

“I want to express my thanks to Ernie for his loyalty and ambition. He has provided me an opportunity to progress into management and this being an experience where I have learnt a vast amount working so closely with him.

“A management position is non-stop and Ernie’s experience, knowledge but also his want and desire to continue to achieve success is incredible.”

Sheppey United were sitting in the top four of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table at the time of the coronavirus health pandemic in March which brought an end to the 2020-21 campaign and all results were declared null and void.

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