Sheffield Wednesday bound Fearn admits it was ‘tough’ decision to leave Frickley

Spencer Fearn. Picture: Onion Bag Photos
Spencer Fearn. Picture: Onion Bag Photos

Departing Frickley Athletic manager Spencer Fearn has spoken about his decision to step down at the Westfield Lane club.

Fearn has left the Evo-Stik League club after 18 months in charge to take up an academy coaching position at Sheffield Wednesday.

With the job being full-time he feels he would not be able to give full attention to Frickley and has handed the reins on.

Fearn explained: “I have been offered a post at Sheffield Wednesday and unfortunately I can’t work out how to be in two places at the same time with commitments on Saturdays.

“Frickley has been a big part of my life in the last 18 months and I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve loved the players – most of the time – and what a great group of lads and a great team here.

“But it’s a decision I have to make. It’s a tough one.

“I can’t demand 100 per cent of the players if I can’t give them 100 per cent.

“I wouldn’t be doing a good job here at Frickley and I wouldn’t be doing a good job at Sheffield Wednesday so something’s had to give.

“It’s sad because I have loved it here, but with Sheffield Wednesday I’ve been at that football club since I was seven years of age, on the Kop and the North Stand and being with my dad and stuff like that so it’s a big part of my life.

“It’s fantastic to work with some of the top coaches there which I’ll learn off.

“Since I started coaching in 2014 I’ve learned a hell of a lot, but I’ve got so much more to learn.

“But anybody who’s managed a semi-professional club knows there’s no such thing as semi-professional it’s just 100 per cent full-time and I wouldn’t do the job justice.

Frickley went down 3-0 to Ramsbottom United in the FA Trophy in Fearn’s last game in charge last Saturday, leaving him disappointed to bow out on a losing note.

He said: “I would have liked to have gone out with a bang, not a 3-0 defeat, a 3-0 win would have been nice.

“It was poor in terms of the goals we conceded. We did play some nice stuff and when they went 1-0 we had a few half-chances. If we had got one of those in then maybe it’s a different game .

“But towards the end we were just sloppy in our defence.”

Fearn leaves Westfield Lane after 18 largely successful months which have seen the club’s fortunes turn round following relegation.

They came within a whisker of promotion last term, finishing in third place in the then South Division and losing in unlucky style in the play-offs.

Frickley did not fail to score a goal in any match in Fearn’s first season in charge and numerous long-standing records were broken.

This season has not gone so well after a bright start as the club has been hit with an injury crisis that saw them without 11 players for a match recently. But although they are down in 12th they are only eight points behind the team in second place in the East Division with two games in hand.

“They’ll get there because there’s some good players to come back from injury. Once this squad’s fit they will start motoring,” added Fearn.

“There’s some good lads here, people like Jameel Ible and Jake Hazel are an absolute joy to coach. I really do hope that Haze moves up the football pyramid – with Frickley of course –and goes on because he’s still got time to do that. He never missed a training session, he is 100 per cent committed to the club and what a fantastic year he had last year.

“Managing a team of young men is difficult sometimes, but they have made it pretty easy because of their attitude and their commitment. We’re not seeing that on the pitch at the moment, but it will come good.”