Scopes given chance of permanent role

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:20 04 March 2010

MARK Scopes is in pole position to be appointed manager of Woodbridge Town on a permanent basis.

He has been placed in temporary charge with a view to the position being made permanent following the sacking of Christian Appleford last Thursday.

MARK Scopes is in pole position to be appointed manager of Woodbridge Town on a permanent basis.

He has been placed in temporary charge with a view to the position being made permanent following the sacking of Christian Appleford last Thursday.

Scopes, a former reserve team manager at Woodbridge, will be given the opportunity to press his claims for the position full time at the Ridgeons League Premier Division club, who open the new campaign at home to Mildenhall on Saturday.

Appleford, who took over the Notcutts Park hotseat in February with the club fighting relegation following the departure of previous incumbent Glenn Read, guided Woodbridge to safety.

However, he was relieved of his position nine days before the start of the new season amid rumours of player power, with rumblings of discontent at the signings he had made and poor attendance at training sessions.

Woodbridge Town chairman John Beecroft denied that “player power” was behind the decision, but said that the board had unanimously agreed that Appleford should be replaced.

He said: “Pre-season results were not what we were expecting and players were unhappy because they did not like his style of coaching and football and various players were leaving the club.

“Both board members and players felt the players he was bringing in were not of the standard required for the Ridgeons League.”

Beecroft said that Appleford had never offered to stand down, and stated: “The only time he offered to resign was when he was told he was being replaced.”

Appleford, who had spent the past two weeks on a residential course at Lilleshall taking his UEFA A Licence, said he had signed three players, two more were definitely joining the club and he had three other potential signings in the pipeline.

“I am disappointed, but it was very hard to work in the conditions surrounding the club. We missed out on signing three or four good players because they were offered more money to play for Ridgeons Division One or SIL clubs.

“In some respects the news came as a relief because I had thought about resigning two or three times, including a week ago on Saturday, but the chairman told me they did not want me to go.

“I have had a lot of messages of support from the players saying they think the club are wrong to sack me and that they are gutted I have gone.

“There are a lot of good people at the club and I wish Woodbridge Town all the best for the future.”

The 31-year-old school teacher added: “I am sure the experience will make me a better manager and I want to get back into it as soon as possible.

“In the six months I was joint manager at Crane Sports we lost only one game and then I took over at Woodbridge when they were in a precarious position and I kept the club up, so I am proud of my achievements in my first year in management.”

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