NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Managerial shock as boss Brett Whaley leaves March Town

Brett Whaley has left March Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

Brett Whaley has left March Town. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Promotion-chasing March Town have tonight (Monday) announced the shock departure of manager Brett Whaley.

Wisbech Town boss Kev Ward (right). Picture: IAN CARTER

Wisbech Town boss Kev Ward (right). Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

The Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side confirmed the exit of Whaley in a statement released on their website by chairman Phil White.

The Hares are only three points outside the promotion places following a 1-0 victory at Sheringham last Saturday.

Whaley has already been replaced by his former assistant boss, Arran Duke, who previously spent a decade in charge of Wisbech St Mary.

"As of today, Brett Whaley leaves the position of first team manager at March Town United Football Club," read the club's statement.

"The club wishes to put on record their thanks for his service. The club also announces the appointment of Arran Duke to take over his role with immediate effect.

"We look forward to working with Arran and his team who will continue to push us forward in league and cups."

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This was Whaley's third spell at March Town and it lasted almost two years. He succeeded Mel Mattless in the GER hotseat in February 2018.

Whaley told the Cambs Times: "I'm proud of the job I've done in the last two years at March," said Whaley.

"I gave them a plan when taking the job and the club is well on track to hit every target within it.

"Not only is the first team in a great position to challenge for promotion, we were also able to sort out the reserves, 'A' team and Under 18 side to create a great structure all the way through.

"We were also able to generate a huge amount of money from the FA Cup run this season which has really set the club up for the next few years.

"I've had three spells at March and it's a club that will always mean a lot to me, but an opportunity to test myself at a higher level has arisen.

"I know that a manager leaving a club at this stage of a season will leave a sour taste for some, but I hope that everyone will in time be able to look back and appreciate the good job that has been done."

Speculation immediately linked Whaley to move across Fenland to Wisbech Town - and that proved to be accurate within 24 hours.