Press Release: Resignation of Paul Attfield
After careful consideration Royston Town Football Club has today accepted the resignation of Paul Attfield as First Team Manager.
It is well documented that Paul has been struggling with a serious illness for some time now and despite taking a rest from all activities last season Paul has continued to find it difficult to maintain the high standards and demands that he sets himself. Whilst as a Club we are naturally disappointed to see Paul step down as our Manager, our sole priority is Paul’s well being and a total break from football management is paramount to him returning to full health.
In his six year reign Paul has proved himself to be the most successful Manager in the Club’s history and broken endless Club records. His passion and love for the game is infectious and his enthusiastic approach has made my role as Chairman so much easier. Paul is an honourable man and has always put the Club before himself, now is the time for the Club to repay that favour and give him the time he needs to recover. We wish Paul all the very best and a speedy recovery.
The Club have appointed Paul’s assistant Duncan Easley as Caretaker Manager for the foreseeable future whilst it assesses what action to take in securing Paul’s permanent successor.
Below is a personal statement from Paul which we feel should be shared with the supporters and followers of Royston Town FC.
From Paul Attfield:
“Six years ago to this day I left Buntingford Town in Herts County League football and returned to Royston as First Team Manager, with the team at that time bottom of the South Midlands League Division One averaging crowds of 25.
A great part of managing any football club is implementing change, both on the pitch and amongst staff and there has been plenty of that in my six years at the helm culminating in improved league position every season, rising attendances, two great promotions and various other on-pitch successes.
Every decision I have ever made comes with the intention of doing what is right for the football club. Having taken charge of my 320th competitive game against AFC Hayes on Saturday I took the fully committed decision of stepping down as First Team Manager. After very constructive conversation with Steve Jackson on Sunday afternoon we mutually agreed it was the correct course of action for the club and myself. The reasons for which I will explain;
Firstly and most importantly my health has once again deteriorated to a level that means I cannot do the job in hand effectively enough and with the enthusiasm levels needed on match and training days. I took a four month absence last season and really hoped this had solved the problem but alas that is not the case and in hindsight I returned to the management fold too early and needed more time off. The illness I have, whilst not life threatening, is frustrating but has to be sorted for my own welfare. The effects mean I rarely enjoy what I do at the football club anymore and that becomes upsetting at best.
Secondly, it is of my opinion that the players need a fresh face at the helm with fresh ideas and the enthusiasm and mentally strong levels needed in this football division. I truly believe many of the players we have can and will play at a higher level but they have had the same face and the same ideas and routines over a long period of time and to help them kick on to that next level I believe a new manager will help them achieve that. I hope I am proven right.
The pressures of a non league management job with expectations of further improvement have overtaken the enjoyment factor and when that happens from a personal point of view you just feel the time is right for change.
The squad I have put together should and undoubtedly will push for a promotion/play-off place this season but the football we have played so far this season is not at the levels I want to see and looking at the body language of players and faces in the changing room it is a good time to freshen things up with the team in a play-off position so early in the season. It is now time for the club to find that person to take the club to the next level.
I would like to thank my assistant Duncan Easley for the work and effort he has put in and for having to put up with me for the past six years. I have massive respect for Duncan and I am convinced he has all of the qualities to become a first class Manager and hopefully this will be sooner rather than later. We have some great coaches at this club, Martin Paine, John Bitting, Andy Day and Scott Taylor have all played their part in the team's progression and I am confident that off pitch team has the right ideas and energy levels to improve the talent we have.
I have made some really great friends in my time at the club. I have to thank Steve Jackson who has supported my every move together with a fantastic committee who again have backed up my decisions, however bold and progressive, without these hard working people (too many to name) the club would not be where it is today.
My plan right now is simple, I’m going to take 18 months out of senior football to get better and get the hunger and enthusiasm back. A return to management is a must for me one day as I live the game. In the short term I hope to continue in a much lighter youth development role within the club but the idea of this has to be discussed further.
To all my players, you have made me proud whether relationships have been strong or strained. Make me prouder and push on further, many of you have the ability.
To all my club friends and supporters, you have helped create the goodwill factor in this club and that will undoubtedly be maintained.
I hope you have all enjoyed our progressive success as much as I have and you never know there may be another chapter in the future where our paths cross again.
Good health to you all.
Come on You Crows”