Bassett make first team management change

Sunday 21 January 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 21 January 2018 at 14:43)

Royal Wootton Bassett Town have this week parted company with first team manager Rich Hunter.

The decision was made to ask Hunter to stand down following the 5-1 Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup defeat against Wantage Town on Wednesday night. The result meant Bassett had lost eight of their previous eleven games, a run in which they had conceded 37 goals.

Having been a member of the first team's coaching staff for two seasons, Hunter took over the reigns as manager in difficult circumstances in August 2016 after the resignation of Paul Braithwaite.

Alongside coach Derek Hamilton, he helped steady the ship, guiding Bassett to a respectable eleventh place finish in the Hellenic League Premier Division while also helping to establish a playing ethos within the club's senior section as a whole.

This season the first team made a difficult start to their campaign before embarking on a nine-game winning streak and matching the club's best ever run in the FA Vase by reaching the second round.

However recent results and performances have not met expectations, with the view taken that a change was necessary.

Commenting on the move, Chairman Andy Walduck said: "Making this type of decision is very hard with Rich being such a nice guy. He's a gentleman and as a club we owe him a lot for his efforts over the past three and a half seasons, especially the way in which he stepped up to the position of manager last year."

"He has added a lot to the club. He always went about things the right way, helping contribute towards the ethos and playing style we want to encourage and building links between our youth and senior sections."

"We wish him nothing but the best for the future."

The club has asked Sam Collier to take over as interim manager until the end of the season.

He has worked alongside Hunter since re-joining as a player-coach in August and it is hoped this will help provide some consistency for the players.

Collier will be supported by Rob Hopkins, who is no stranger to Bassett, having previously served as a player and coach before moving onto coaching stints with New College and Wantage Town more recently.

The club will then review its options at the end of the season before making a permanent appointment.

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