Fleet Town have named Craig Martin as their caretaker manager after Craig Davis stood down to take the helm at EVO-STIK League Southern and Hampshire rivals Winchester City.
Former AFC Totton and Bashley midfielder Davis left the EVO-STIK League Southern Division One Central’s Blues on Wednesday after six years at the helm to succeed to Ian Saunders at the Citizens following his departure on Tuesday.
The mid-table Blues wished their outgoing manager well in a statement confirming his exit and the appointment of his number two Martin for their home game with Marlow on Saturday at Calthorpe Park while they consider candidates for their hot-seat.
Fleet spokesman Harry Cannon said: “We know that this was an extremely difficult decision for Craig, but given the difficulties at the club at this moment in time understand his situation.
“As a club we’d like to put on record and thank Craig for the six successful seasons he has spent at Fleet Town Football Club, not only ensuring that the club has maintained its status as a Southern League Level 4 football club, but also in developing a young squad that play the game the right way and with the spirit and drive to match that of their manager.
“We wish Craig well in his new role at Winchester City and it goes without saying that he will always be welcome at Calthorpe Park.”
Davis, who had already agreed in principle to join Winchester at the start of next season to work alongside Saunders as head coach, told fans in a statement that he was sad to go but hoped they’d understand.
The play-manager said: “Sadly you cannot always choose timing of things and in an ideal world this wouldn’t have happened for a few weeks at least, however it’s an opportunity that I cannot turn down.
“I really am sad to leave behind so many people who I am incredibly fond of and the club will always have a special place in my heart. I have managed Fleet Town for six years now and played in over 300 games for the club and to keep us in the division all this time and playing at step 4 is a huge achievement.
“I really am very grateful for Fleet Town for the opportunity given to me to manage at such a young age. I have learned an awful lot and developed as a coach-manager through the difficulties off the pitch and the resources at my disposal.
“I will hugely miss a lot of people at the club, too many to list on here, however I am very excited at the new prospect at Winchester and just couldn’t turn down the opportunity.”
Winchester City thanked the Blues for allowing Davis to make the switch in a statement on the EVO-STIK League Southern Division One South & West club’s website.
The Citizens said: “We had previously anticipated Craig joining us at the end of the current season – but obviously our change of direction has necessitated our need to fill the void created. We would like to thank Fleet Town for allowing Craig to join us at such short notice.”