Alfreton Town confirm boss Russ O’Neill’s departure

Russ O'Neill

Russ O'Neill

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Manager Russ O’Neill and his assistant Paul Clayton are reportedly among several high profile departures as Alfreton Town begin preparing in earnest for the 2017/18 campaign.

Several players have also left the Impact Arena, including experienced striker Paul Clayton, while it is understood an announcement regarding potential new investment could also be imminent in the coming days.

O’Neill took over the reins from long-serving manager Nicky Law in February having been his assistant for several years, and guided the Reds to an 18th place finish in the National League North.

Speaking about his departure, O’Neill said he was devastated to have parted ways with the Reds.

He said: “It’s been absolutely gut-wrenching for me; I go with a heavy heart. I’ve achieved so much here and I’ve had good times and bad but this club is a part of me and it always will be.”

“The lads gave it everything this season, the mission was to stay up and we did that and I couldn’t ask any more of the players who have been excellent this season but we have just struggled and it has been a tough campaign.

“I can’t put it into words the passion I have for the club and I have enjoyed every minute of my time here.

“I think everyone needs to appreciate Wayne Bradley and what he has done for this club, he is such a massive part of Alfreton and I have so much respect for him.

“I said to him that he needed to do what was best for the club and not let feelings get in the way. I want to thank everyone for their support throughout my time here, and the fans, they have been incredible during my time here and without them this club wouldn’t be such a fantastic place to play football.

“Good things do come to an end and I know this is the best decision for the club and I leave with sadness but this has been a privilege to be involved with Alfreton Town and I thank Wayne for the opportunity. I will be back at the Impact cheering the lads on that’s for sure.”

Reds chairman Wayne Bradley said: “It was a tough decision in the end. Russ arrived with Nicky in 2007 and has guided the club to some of its best times in history and has been there during the tough times. Russ is Alfreton through and through and he will always be a legend here, I have the greatest respect for him.

“I have actively been looking at investment into the football club and there have been many decisions that have had to be made and relieving Russ of his duties was very hard but we have parted ways on very good terms and I wish him all the best in the future.”

Meanwhile, the allocation of teams for the National League North next season has been provisionally confirmed.

Coming up from step three are Blyth Spartans, Spennymoor Town and Leamington, whilst relegated North Ferriby United, Southport and York City have dropped from the National League.

FC Halifax Town joined AFC Fylde in being promoted at the weekend as they beat Chorley 2-1 after extra-time in the National League North play-off final.

Worcester City, who finished in the relegation places, have opted to take voluntary demotion to the Midland Football League - three divisions below the National League North - due to financial reasons.