BARRY Taylor has stepped down as manager of Dromore Amateurs.
Taylor took over the reins at Ferris Park in early 2010 and, following the club’s elevation to the newly-created Division 1C of the Northern Amateur Football League, saw Dromore maintain their intermediate status by steering them clear of relegation over the last two seasons.
Three weeks ago Taylor, who previously lifted the Border Cup as manager of Dunmurry Rec, notified the Amateurs committee of his desire to relinquish his post at the end of the current campaign.
Dromore’s place in 1C next season was guaranteed following an excellent 3-2 victory away to Iveagh United on April 26.
Following the Amateurs’ last game of the season on Saturday - a 5-2 defeat away to promoted Bloomfield - Taylor told the players of his decision.
He thanked the team for their efforts and told them to keep working hard but that he was stepping aside to allow someone else to come through and “freshen things up”.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Dromore immensely, it’s a great club with a hard-working committee, and I’ll still be there as a supporter, cheering on the Amateurs,” said Taylor.
Coach Ronnie Murdock also announced he would not be returning to his duties on the sidelines next season, saying he had other commitments outside football which were taking up so much of his time.
Afterwards, chairman Malcolm Russell paid a warm tribute to the departing duo.
“We greatly appreciate Barry’s strenous efforts over the last two-and-a-half seasons, he did exceptionally well to maintain our intermediate status when times were tough. He’s a highly knowledgeable coach with great enthusiasm and we wish him well,” he said.
“Ronnie has also given loyal service to the first team and we know he’ll continue to closely follow the fortunes of his beloved Amateurs.”
The Amateurs - sponsored by McDonald’s Mace - finished the 2011/12 season in 13th place, out of 14, with a record of P26 W4 D8 L14 GF36 GA78 Pts20.
Dromore lost just one of their opening nine league fixtures - a promising start which included seven draws - but postponed fixtures over the winter period contributed to the Amateurs losing this early momentum and points were hard to come by in the second half of the campaign.
The committee now begins the search for a new manager and all expressions of interest should be forwarded to secretary William McMurray by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07706019953.
Meanwhile, the Amateurs have two major events on the horizon - the end-of-season dinner takes place in Thyme Square on May 19 while the AGM will be held in the clubhouse on May 30 at 8pm.