NCEL: Johnston quits as Armthorpe Welfare boss

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston

Brian Johnston has resigned as manager of Armthorpe Welfare following a 3-0 defeat to Maltby Main.

Johnston has guided the club to Premier Division safety in each of his three seasons in charge, while single-handedly managing all aspects of the playing operation.

And he has reached the point where the scale of the task has become too much to handle, leading to his resignation.

Welfare issued a club statement thanking Johnston for his efforts while also insisting there is no danger of the club folding.

In the statement, Welfare said: “Brian has done an incredible job maintaining our Premier Division status while the standard of the league increases every year.

“He has single-handedly had to manage the playing side including training, organising players, warm-ups, matchdays and recruit and retain players with zero budget when some clubs are paying hundreds of pounds out on player wages every week.

“The job has taken its toll on Brian and has finally become too much to handle, especially when he has had extra pressure in his personal life recently.

“It was clear to see that Brian was becoming unhappy in his role and found it hard to find any enthusiasm, especially when we have had our worst start to a season in a long time.

“Therefore, in consultation with the committee, he has decided it is in the his own and in the club’s best interest that he resign.

“Brian is an all round good bloke and to see him gradually becoming more and more deflated was not nice.”

The statement also says such a drastic change may be what is needed to turn around Welfare’s poor start to the season.

Welfare have lost all four outings, including in both league and cup to title favourites Handsworth Parramore.

Armthorpe head to Athersley Recreation on Saturday, looking for their first win at Sheerien Park since the Barnsley side won promotion to the top flight in 2013.

Maltby Main also saw the departure of joint manager Mark Askwith ahead of the Armthorpe clash due to work commitments with Spencer Fearn taking sole control at Muglet Lane.

Askwith said; “I’ve had a great time at Maltby and I’m sad to leave, but I have a large number of work commitments which means I cannot give the time to a job like this needs.”

Fearn, who moved quickly to appoint goalkeeper coach John Stancliffe as his assistant, said, “It is a blow that we received this news from Mark, but we fully understand that he has to focus on his business.

“Managing a club at our level takes a lot of time and energy and I know it is with a heavy heart that he has made this decision, we will certainly miss him.”

Maltby have moved to strengthen their squad by signing Jordan Snodin the son of former Leeds United captain Ian. He played in the Evo-Stik Premier Division last season with Hyde United and turned down the chance of playing at a higher level to join Maltby.

Maltby take on newly promoted AFC Mansfield at home on Saturday.

Rossington Main followed up a 4-1 win over Shirebrook Town in the League Cup by beating Winterton Rangers 1-0 at Oxford Street in Division One.

Christian Savage’s second goal of the season came after just four minutes as Main beat Rangers.

Rossington have a blank weekend but visit Hallam on Tuesday.