MANAGER Adie Arnold revealed the departure of two senior players had prompted his decision to quit Verwood Town.

The long-serving boss ended his successful eight-and-a-half year stint at Potterne Park after Nathan Saxby bagged a hat-trick in a 3-0 triumph at Downton which all-but ensured Wessex League Premier Division safety.

Arnold’s departure came nine days after he admitted to considering his future having become frustrated at working without a budget.

Matters came to a head when former Cherries apprentice Matt Oldring switched to Southern League strugglers Guildford City and Ben Kelly joined league rivals Blackfield & Langley following talks with Potters chairman Steve Jefferis.

Speculation was rife that Arnold would leave at the end of the season, but after seemingly securing survival, the man who led Verwood to the highest level in their history felt it was the right time to stand aside.

“It was a sad day,” said Arnold. “I had been at Verwood a long time and the club is in my blood but I didn’t feel like I could take them any further.

“The final straw came when we met with the chairman and he said there would be no change with the budget situation next season so two of our key players felt they had to move on.

“That was hard to take for me and I felt it sent out the wrong message to our players and any we might have wanted to attract to the club.

“I have felt let down on a few occasions this season because I wanted to push on but as it turned out I had to fight just to keep what I had.

“When you don’t pay, you rely on making sure the players are looked after with things like tracksuits, kit and training facilities to sell yourselves. We turned up at Winchester the other week and half the lads didn’t have a tracksuit which sent out entirely the wrong message.

“I had been trying to bring money into the club so it knocked the stuffing out of me when I was told there wouldn’t be anything again.

“My spark had gone. I couldn’t motivate myself and it didn’t feel right carrying on like that. It wouldn’t have been fair to the players or the club.”

Arnold’s assistant Andy Darnton has also left the club with coach Danny Saxby set to take charge of Tuesday’s trip to Hamworthy United on a one-off basis while Jefferis seeks an interim manager.

Jefferis added: “We were disappointed to lose Adie but it was all very amicable and we wish him all the best.

“He has always been Mr Verwood and will hold a special place in all our hearts for what he has achieved. We know he is ambitious and wants to go higher than we can go at the moment.”

Potters: Lynch, Evans, Hill, Elsom, Molyneaux, Dyer, Gajic, N Saxby, Haskell (B Satterley, 82), Lovell (M Speechley-Price 70), L Speechley-Price (Foster, 76). Unused Sub: Hampton-Brown.