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UPDATED: Casey blasts Bashley players over joint-boss Kearn's departure
STAND-in skipper Josh Casey claimed outgoing Stewart Kearn had been “let down and stitched up” by some of the players at Bashley following the joint-manager's resignation on Saturday.
Rookie boss Kearn stood down from his first managerial post immediately after Bashley's 4-1 home defeat to Arlesey Town - their eighth consecutive league reverse - had left the winless New Forest outfit seven points from safety in the Southern Premier.
Chairman Mike Cranidge confirmed co-manager Paul Gazzard would take sole control of first-team affairs on a permanent basis and attempt to arrest the dramatic slide that has seen Bash take just two points from the duo's 10-game tenure.
But 21-year-old Casey, who has donned the captain's armband during the absence of injured defender Ian Richardson in recent weeks, insisted the blame for Bashley's slump should be shouldered by the players and that Kearn's departure must act as a wake-up call.
Casey told the Daily Echo: “It was a very emotional atmosphere in the dressing room when he told us because the players have a lot of respect for Stewart, personally and professionally. Not many of the senior players would have re-signed over the summer if it had not been for him.
“He has been let down and stitched up by some of the players who didn't give 100 per cent. Some people need to look at themselves and ask whether they had done enough for Kearnsy.
“I am angry because the players have let down Stewart and Gaz by not being as committed as they should be. Some players have picked up their money without showing the necessary desire at times.
“We need to get it together and quickly because things will quickly drift away from us if we don't get some points on the board soon, but I am still 100 per cent confident we can stay up. A few things need changing but I have every confidence in Gaz.”
Kearn, who served Bashley, Wimborne, Christchurch and Bournemouth Poppies with distinction during his playing career, became goalkeeping coach under his predecessors Frank Gray and Gerry Murphy, who resigned from Bash following budget cuts over the summer.
He stepped up to the plate with Gazzard and persuaded some of the senior players to stay on but results had not followed with a rueful Kearn honest in his assessment of the situation at Bash.
“I felt I had done everything in my power and couldn't give any more,” said Kearn.
“To be honest, if the club had a proper board in place then would someone with my CV have been considered for the position? Probably not.
“With a proper board in place, would the manager have been sacked after 10 games without a win? They probably would.
“I was in a horrible position where I gave my all without really thinking I could do anything to change the results and just felt it was my time to walk away.
“Gaz (Paul Gazzard) is Bashley through and through and he is there for the long haul.
"I wish him and the club every success through this difficult spell because I have thoroughly enjoyed my time there in every capacity.”
Meanwhile, Bash chairman Cranidge said he was "gutted" over Kearn's decision.
"Stewart is a super person who put his heart and soul into the club when it needed him most," said Cranidge.
"Ultimately, he just couldn't live with the record (of results) and it was affecting him.
"I felt very emotional when he informed me because he had done everything he could in very trying circumstances.
"No doubt he was frustrated with not being able to take the playing side of the club forward on such limited resources."
Kearn’s decision came after Bash blew the third-minute lead given to them by George Colson against an efficient Arlesey side. Arlesey led 3-1 at the break before rounding off the scoring in the final minute.
Gazzard was unavailable for comment.
Bash: Collins, Stephenson, Flint, Strickland, Middleton, Colson, Casey, Roberts (Ward, 76), Sills (Satterley, h-t), Odam, Boultwood (Blackmore, 64). Unused subs: Morris, Brookes.
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