CLUB legend Paul Gazzard admitted to "feeling relieved" after he and fellow joint-manager John Pyatt today revealed their decisions to quit Bashley.
Just five days after a boardroom takeover saw Bash saved from certain closure, Gazzard – a stalwart of more than 10 years service – and right-hand man Pyatt relinquished their roles following a tumultuous season of struggle at the foot of the Southern League Premier Division.
Pyatt, who replaced Stewart Kearn at Bashley Road in October, told the Daily Echo that he had informed then-chairman Mike Cranidge of his decision nine days ago, while both men put their departures down to time constraints.
New chair Angela Speechley-Price said Bash could announce their replacements within the week but may defer the decision until the after club's annual general meeting on May 27.
Gazzard, who took charge with Kearn last summer, confessed that his thankless battle against relegation during his first season in the Bash dugout had proved a millstone round his neck.
“Leaving was always a possibility and the state of the club made my decision a little bit easier,” said Gazzard. “I knew I had to commit more time to my family but the other half of it came down to not enjoying my football last season.
“I felt it was only fair to step down as manager and the moment of truth for me was feeling relieved when I put down the phone after resigning. The pressure had finally gone and I was glad it was over which made me sure in my own mind that I had done the right thing.”
Speechley-Price added that Bash wanted Gazzard to stay on in coaching capacity.
The former player, coach and assistant manager said: “I would never say never, particularly with Bashley, but ideally I would like to take a year out to focus on my family."