Gloucester City have announced the resignation of popular assistant-manager Matt Rose.

Rose has been assistant-manager since 2014, after returning to the club following a spell as manager at Bishop’s Cleeve.

In 2009, Rose wrote himself into Gloucester City folklore when he scored the winning goal in the Tigers` Southern Premier Division play-off final against Farnborough.

Explaining his decision, Rose said “It is with deepest regret that I announce my resignation as assistant-manager.

“This has been a very difficult decision but one I have made after much consideration, due to changing work & personal family commitments.

“Acknowledging the effort required to fulfil this important role properly it would be wrong of me and not fair on everybody involved at Gloucester City Football Club to continue without giving it 100%.

“The GCAFC family have been very kind and very supportive to me and along the way we have achieved some amazing things together that I will always be proud of.

“As I move onto new challenges some might also see me coaching my youngest son’s team around the local playing fields in Cheltenham and Gloucester – please come over and say hello!

“I would like to place on record a huge thank you to everybody involved with the club, the list is too long to name everybody but you know who you are. A special thanks to the Management Board, the lads and physio team who were excellent last season.

“Particularly those in the background who keep this wonderful club going, and of course Tim and Marc, both of whom I have known for a long time and who have been so supportive and professional throughout.

“I finish by wishing all of you involved in GCAFC good luck for 2017/18 and look forward to seeing us all back at Meadow Park as soon as possible.”

Manager Tim Harris is sad to see Rose depart, but understanding of the reasons, saying: “I am saddened that Matt has arrived at this decision but admire and fully respect his reasons.

“He has been an absolute rock as my assistant-manager and played a big part in making the club what it is today since I returned from Newport County over three years ago.

“Matt has shown total dedication just like he did on the pitch as a player, where he will be long remembered for that winning and only goal in the play-off final at Farnborough eight years ago.

“We look forward to welcoming him when time dictates and I know he will help in any way he can. I would like to wish him and his lovely family sincere best wishes for the future.”

Chairman Mike Dunstan reiterated the significant contribution Matt Rose has made to Gloucester: “Matt was a young lad when he first pulled on a City shirt, before moving on to a highly successful non-League career at a number of clubs before returning to City and scoring the play-off final goal that put us into the National League North,” Dunstan said.

“After a short period away, he was back in the dressing room playing a huge part in driving the team forward. Matt is a winner, and takes his responsibilities so very seriously.

“In discussions, it’s clear that with his family growing up and an ever-busier career he could not continue to give the level of commitment he would expect of himself.  Everyone at this club recognises his huge contribution and wish Matt every happiness in the future.”

It is a measure of the character of Rose that he has given the club early notice of his thoughts and likely decision which has allowed the club to prepare.

Harris said “I can’t thank Matt enough for the way he has handled this, which has allowed us to consider all options.

“Firstly, Marc Richards will move up to assistant-manager and will continue his role as head coach.

“Ideally I wanted to look at a player coach role. I discussed this with club captain Tom Webb but he wanted to be totally committed to the playing side.

“I wanted to find someone who was well qualified and understands this club, which narrows down the potential candidates.

“When you add the playing element no one stands out more than fan-favourite Will Morford, and I am delighted to say that Will has been appointed player-coach with immediate effect.

“He really is the ideal replacement. He has extremely good character with extensive coaching qualifications – add to that he scored an impressive 18 goals for Shortwood United last season so will also add considerable experience to our attacking options as a player.”

Morford has a UEFA B Coaching License as well as a Masters in Coaching Science, BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching & Conditioning and his FA Youth Coaching Award.

He is a fully qualified teacher and is currently Senior Football Academy Coach at Cirencester. In addition to this role, he holds his FA Tutor License and works as both an FA Tutor and FA Club Coach Mentor part-time.

On re-joining the club, Morford said “I am both delighted and honoured to be returning after a few seasons away.

“It is an amazing opportunity for me and having spoken with Tim and Marc I didn’t have to think twice about accepting it.

“It is sad to see a city legend in Rosey stepping down as he has played a major role in helping the club achieve its current success both as a player and as part of the management team.

“The progress the club have made both on and off the pitch since I have been away is beyond recognition and that is testament to the hard work of Tim, Rosey, Marc and all those at the club.  It is a really exciting time to be returning to the club and I am looking forward to making a start”.

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