Armthorpe Welfare have announced that Brian Johnston has resigned as manager of the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division club.

It came after Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Maltby Main, a result which left the side bottom of the table having lost their three games so far this season without scoring a goal.

And the club, who have also denied rumours that it is in danger of folding, have paid tribute to Johnston who joined them as assistant manager to Leo Fortune-West in 2012 before taking the manager’s job permanently for the start of the 2013/14 season.

A statement said: “In his three seasons as manager under challenging circumstances, he guided the team to eighteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth placed finishes, each time avoiding relegation.

“It may not look impressive on paper but, when things are put into context, Brian has done an incredible job maintaining our Premier Division status while the standard of the league increases every year.

“He has single-handedly had to manage the playing side including training, organising players, warm ups, matchdays whilst recruiting and retaining players with zero budget when some clubs are paying hundreds of pounds out on player wages every week.

“His assistant managers haven’t stuck around too often making his job that bit harder, relying on senior players to help him.

“The job has taken its toll on Brian and has finally become too much to handle, especially when he has had extra pressure in his personal life recently.

“It was clear to see that Brian was becoming unhappy in his role and found it hard to find any enthusiasm, especially when we have had our worse start to a season in a long time.

“Therefore, in consultation with the committee, he has decided it is in his own and in the club’s best interests that he resign.

“Brian is an all round good bloke and to see him gradually becoming more and more deflated was not nice.

“He has had a number of loyal players at the club who will be sad to see him go, and the committee and our supporters will also be sad that he has had to resign.

“However, it may just take something as drastic as this to try and turn our fortunes around and the time may be right for the change.

“It is business as usual at the club, and despite certain rumours circulating around the internet, there is no danger of the club folding.

“We will have no problem fulfilling our fixtures and assistant manager Tony Wigfull has been appointed caretaker manager, and will continue in the role until an emergency committee meeting is held to decide our next steps.

“Armthorpe Welfare would like to publicly place on record our sincere gratitude to Brian for the tireless hard work he has had to put in over the last three years.

“We are extremely grateful as he has worked with such an understanding attitude and his legacy will be the stability he brought to the club following the resignation of long serving manager Des Bennett, that was quickly followed by Fortune-West before he had even been in the job a year.

“Brian will also be proud of the development of Joe Lumsden (now Stocksbridge Park Steels) and Jay Rollins (now Boston United) during his tenure.

“We hope Brian can go back to enjoying football again and leaves the club on good terms knowing he will be welcome at Church Street any time.”


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