South Devon’s Buckland Athletic have turned to former boss Adam Castle, who stepped down as manager in 2016, to change their fortunes, despite the 42-year-old now living in County Cork, Ireland.

The Western League Premier Division side have high ambitions and are desperate to make the step up to Southern League football – but promotion places are limited, and a bad October and November saw them drop from top to fifth, putting their chance of finishing in the top two in a season when two will go up instead of the usual one, at risk.

Last week, the Newton Abbot club parted company with Ellis Laight, who took over from Castle when he moved wife his family to Ireland at the end of the 2015-16 season. Soon after the phone was ringing in Cork and Castle, who was managing Charleville in the Limerick & District League, didn’t need to be asked twice.

Speaking from Ireland, Castle said: “When John Piller rang me it wasn’t an opportunity I was ever going to turn down.

“Once I had cleared it with my wife, Carmel, there was 100 per cent only one answer I could give him.”

Castle will be the interim manager for ‘undefined period’, says a statement. Castle says he will continue to work with the club for as long as they want him to.

Tickets have already been booked for flights to Exeter on match days – and he will be appointing a locally-based coach soon. Marc Revel, one of Castle’s senior players at Buckland, will also lend a hand as his assistant.

Castle explained: “It’s just like working away. If I was working in Manchester and you didn’t see me all week, but I was there on Saturdays, I wouldn’t be any different.

“Whether I am in Kathmandu or Paignton, where I used to live, I am always on the end of the phone – and a lot of management is done on the end of the phone these days.”

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