Scholars boss quits

First published in Sport by

Leese: I need challenge of a club with ambition'.

Potters Bar Town were this week searching for a new manager.

Andy Leese and assistant Jon Meakes have left Parkfield to manage Southern League Division One side Chesham United.

Leese said the Chesham job was too good to turn down, but said the decision to leave was not an easy one to make.

"I am disappointed to be leaving. This is the most difficult thing I have had to do in non-league football because of my history and friendships within the club."

The duo arrived 16 months ago, steering the Scholars from the threat of relegation thanks to a superb run-in, the side losing just two of their final 14 league games.

Progress continued this season, as the pair guided Town to the club's highest ever league placing (14th in Ryman League Division One North).

The club also picked up two pieces of silverware and, memorably, reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, where they put up a tremendous fight against Conference side Woking.

Leese added: "I need the challenge of a club which has the ambition and expectation level to push on. That is not a criticism of Potters Bar Town Football Club, but the club has some work to do off the field to be able to consolidate at this level.

"I was proud to come back when the club faced a challenge and I know I will leave the football side of the club much healthier than when I found it. I have given it my best and the chairman's support has been unconditional, which is all a manager can ask for."

Chairman Peter Waller thanked the pair for all their efforts and wished them well, but he admitted to being a little surprised about their decision to join a club which is on the same level of the non-league pyramid as the Scholars.

He said: "It was always hoped that if Andy were to eventually leave, it would be to a Premier Division club at least, an arena where it is clear his coaching techniques, man-management skills and tactical awareness would be at home."

Leese's final match in charge was last week's 3-0 Herts Charity Cup final win over Hemel Hempstead Town.

Leese said: "It rounded off a great season of real progress in my view.

"I will never win any popularity contests at the club, but I feel there has been little credit for what has been achieved, especially last season's escape from relegation against all the odds.

"This season has been a mammoth 60-game season where we have established ourselves at this level, playing attractive football."

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