Aveley secretary and Ryman League vice-chairman Craig Johnson will continue the club’s hunt for a new manager in the wake of Justin Gardner’s shock midweek exit after seeing his temporary charges beaten in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Johnson took charge of the 2-1 preliminary round reverse for the Millers at Ryman North rivals Witham Town after Gardner, pictured, stood down on Tuesday, four and half years after arriving from Bethnal Green United in February 2012 as the successor to Lee Hodges.

Johnson told fans this week that he was unlikely to be at the helm for long after revealing on Friday that he’d received 31 applications for the vacant hot-seat at Mill Field and had already interviewed three candidates.

The Millers wished Gardner well after he left the club in fourth spot following their 3-1 home win over Brentwood Town last weekend and not long after proud officials fired the starting gun on the race to sell the stadium naming rights to the new home they are building for next season after announcing on Monday that it would be known as Parkside when not sponsored.

Due for completion in July 2017, the £4.8 million pound all weather community facility will provide the Essex club with a new state-of-the-art main stadium and artificial turf pitch, a separate full-size grass floodlit pitch and two junior grass pitches.

On Friday, builders Velocity Sports Ltd tweeted their “delight” to be delivering another high quality stadium alongside images of “cutting and filling” work progressing at the site, pictured.

A Millers spokesman said: “Justin leaves the club in a healthy fourth position. The club wishes to place on record its thanks to Justin Gardner and his commitment over his period of tenure. The club invites interested parties to contact club secretary Craig Johnson as the club looks forward to exciting times ahead with the new ground under construction with a summer 2017 completion.”

Source: www.isthmian.co.uk

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