Paul Smith has stepped down as first-team manager of Walsham-le-Willows after 18 years in charge, report The East Anglian Daily Times.

The 58-year-old met with the club’s committee on Tuesday night and both parties agreed it was time to go their separate ways. Trevor Newman has been appointed as the new man in charge.

In his time as boss at Summer Road, Smith, a former prolific striker with Woodbridge Town, Harwich, Diss and Sudbury Town, has taken the village side from the Suffolk & Ipswich League up to Step 5 football and the Eastern Counties League – all on a shoestring budget.

It’s been a remarkable achievement. He is disappointed to be leaving, but feels no bitterness.

“It’s been a long journey and I’ve enjoyed it,” Smith said.

“Things have to come to an end sometime and there is no animosity on my part. I thought about whether I wanted to carry on at the end of last season but I thought I would.

“Pre-season hasn’t been great. Me and the committee had a long talk and we decided to go our own ways.”

Walsham’s rise up the non-league pyramid owes much to Smith. He joined Walsham in 2000 and the club won the Suffolk Senior Cup in 2006. Promotions and league titles have come – the club have been at Step 5 for 12 seasons.

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