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Browne: Kemp situation is like a 'soap opera'
7:00am Friday 15th February 2013 in Non league football
Browne was referring to the ongoing saga surrounding Kemp’s decision to quit Priory but to remain in the hot-seat until a successor has been appointed.
Despite announcing he would be stepping down in December, Kemp, who has spent five-and-a-half years at the helm, has agreed to hold the fort until a replacement has been found.
However, last month, Priory revealed they would be delaying an appointment at least until the end of the season as their attempts to find a suitable replacement had proved unsuccessful.
Christchurch, currently fourth in Wessex Premier, will be hoping to close the gap on the leaders when they face 10th-placed Hammers at the County Ground tonight (7.45pm).
Browne told the Daily Echo: “It does appear to have been a long-running saga with Graham re-signing and then staying on until the end of the season. There is a bit of a soap opera element to it.
“I must admit I was surprised when he decided he didn’t want to carry on because he has got such a good squad at his disposal. He has built it up since he has been there and they have still got a very good chance to win the league this season.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if, maybe this time next year, we will still be locking horns. It did seem a bit of a strange decision. Normally when a manager says he is going to leave, he leaves. He doesn’t tend to stick around for the next two or three months or until the end of the season.”
Kemp revealed he had decided to call it a day with Priory as he felt he had taken the club as far as he could. He also said he was planning to take a short break from the game to recharge his batteries.
However, following a request from Christchurch chairman Mark Duffy, Kemp, together with assistant John Macey and first-team coach Jim Totczyk, agreed to stay put for the rest of the season.
Hammers, who won the corresponding fixture 2-0 last season, will be out to avenge a 4-0 drubbing at Hurn Bridge in October.
“It will be a tough game,” added Browne. “It is a derby and a lot of players on either side know each other so, hopefully, that will garner a bit of added interest.
“Christchurch have been on a good run of form and are still in with a shout of winning the league. We have won three of our past four and have got some players back. We are looking forward to the game and will be hoping to upset the form book.”
Browne has bolstered his resources with the addition of much-travelled midfielder Tommy McCormick who has a wealth of Southern League experience with Poole and Wimborne.
Hammers: (from) Knights, Murray, Ayling, Horlock, Hester, Lanahan, Penny, Wyatt, McCormick, Shovelton, Chudy, Pekun, Bradley, Muller, Sturgess.
Priory: (from) Frampton, Thompson, Magookin, Crutchley, Lloyd, Smith, Burden, Yelland, Griffin, Cornick, Puckett, Dand, Legg, Osborne, Collins.