Sheffield FC manager James Colliver has paid tribute to his number two Jay Roper after the coach decided to cut short his stay at the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League club.
Roper stood down at The BT Local Stadium this week citing personal and professional reasons for taking a break from coaching after arriving in the summer to boost Colliver’s first team management structure.
Colliver, whose fourth from bottom side host Spalding United on Saturday, said: “Jay and I have been friends for a while now and his football knowledge and coaching abilities are unquestioned. For one reason or another however it just hasn’t worked out. It’s a shame, but we’ve had an adult conversation and worked something out which we feel is best for us all.
“He has done everything I asked and expected of him and cannot fault the quality and time given to the cause. Jay and I will remain good friends and I hope that when he returns from his break from coaching that he continues to develop himself and the players he works with.”
In a statement announcing his departure, officials at the EVO-STIK NPL First Division South club also paid tribute to Roper, describing him as the outstanding candidate when they were looking to fill the role in the summer.
A spokesman said: “The club thank Jay for his honesty, professionalism and integrity during his short spell with the club and wish him all the success in the future. It must be stressed that this is an amicable and mutual agreement and we trust it will be of benefit to all parties included.
“The club wish Jay all the very best of luck in any future ventures he embarks on in football and beyond, and have no doubt that his skills, abilities and ever evolving experiences as a coach will be of huge benefit to the players and clubs he works with in the future.”
Roper, who thanked the club’s staff and fans for their support, said: “I’ve have learnt a hell of a lot in a short space of time and, I will forever be able to say that I coached the world’s first football club, and I’m really proud of that.”