Folkestone Invicta are planning to bid a fond farewell to coach Jason Lillis on Saturday when they host Kingstonian in the Ryman League’s top flight.
Invicta are waving goodbye at the Fullicks Stadium to the former Football League striker with Gillingham, Maidstone and Cambridge United after he secured a dream job coaching college students in the United States.
Currently the head of sport at a school in the Canterbury area, the 47-year-old is moving to Waterville in Maine in a couple of weeks time to take up a role as director of all pro-soccer working with students from their early college years to adult level.
Invicta boss Neil Cugley paid to tribute to Lillis who was a key member of his management team last season as the club clinched the Ryman South championship and promotion with weeks to spare.
Cugley said: “It’s been great working and getting to know Jason, and it’s good to see people move on in life. I don’t think any of us will ever forget last season when we finally got up into the Premier Division and we obviously all wish him well.
“He told the players at training on Tuesday and his last game will be against Kingstonian here at home on Saturday. When he got his UEFA A licence, I think we all knew that he would be moving on, sooner or later.”
Lillis said: “This has all come to a head in the last week or ten days ago but it’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to. I’ve loved it at Invicta. Working with Neil Cugley and Edgey (assistant manager Roland Edge) we soon built up a great working relationship but this is a new challenge, a new emphasis, for me.”
Lillis isn’t ruling out a reunion one day though. “You never know – I’m probably not planning to stay over there forever and who knows what the future will bring,” he added.