Frickley Athletic will be under new management for their next game in the Evo-Stik League’s East Division on Saturday following the resignation of Spencer Fearn.
John Stancliffe has moved up from assistant to interim manager after Fearn stood down to take up an academy coaching position at Football League Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.
He took charge for the first time on Tuesday night for the Integro League Cup tie against Farsley Celtic and will continue in the role for Saturday’s league game at home to Morpeth Town when he will be looking to turn round the team’s fortunes after slipping down to 12th.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, to be a manager,” said Stancliffe
“It’s not under the circumstances I’d like – I’d like Spencer to still be here, but he’s not.
“It’s about getting the club back up to where it needs to be – and will be.
“After speaking to the boys in the dressing room they know for a fact that this club will finish this season well and things will turn round. They knew that anyway, they didn’t need Spencer to be leaving the club for that to hit home.
“The belief in the dressing room is still there and once we get through this little blip everyone will see that this team will kick on again. I’m honoured that I will be heading that up.
“I’d like to thank the board of directors for giving me the opportunity. Now it’s up to me.”
Frickley director Ryan McKnight paid tribute to the departing Fearn and backed Stancliffe.
He said: “Congratulations to Spencer. He has been absolutely ferocious in developing himself and he’s obviously educated himself up to the point where a Championship club feel comfortable that he is taking on a fantastic role there that is full-time.
“Last season was phenomenal, but you can’t stand in the way of someone having an opportunity like this.
“It’s important for me that we keep some continuity at the club and I’m really happy that ‘Stan’s’ going to step into that role to begin with.
“As a football club we will be throwing all our support behind him and will do everything we can to help him to succeed because that’s the direction we’re still on. Everybody knows we’ve had a couple of tough results lately, but you can’t measure a football club by weeks. My commitment is still here to the football club and everything we’re doing off the pitch is still here.
“With a heavy heart we’ve got to wish Spencer all the best and now get behind the new man.”
McKnight added: “John’s been doing an absolutely phenomenal job developing the Community Foundation at the football club. Me and Stan are here every day and Stan’s out in the community, working with close to a dozen schools. We know what this town’s about.
“Just to reassure supporters, there are no problems. The football club is in a more progressive state now than what it’s ever been.
“The plans we’ve got for the future are really exciting and I won’t let the football club be defined by just what’s happening week to week on the football pitch.”