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Danny Lye on leaving Ashford United two games into the new season

Danny Lye says the decision to leave Ashford United is the right time for him and the club.

The 36-year-old player-manager departs almost two years ago to the day after taking over following the sacking of Paul Chambers, following the 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Cray Valley - also after two games.

It comes just months after agreeing a two-year contract extension in the days leading up to clinching promotion and a return to Isthmian League football after seven years, winning the Southern Counties East League Premier Division title on goal difference, following a 7-0 final day win over Rochester United in April.

Ashford player-manager Danny Lye celebrates with trophy Pic Gary Browne
Ashford player-manager Danny Lye celebrates with trophy Pic Gary Browne

Lye said: "It was my decision -100%.

"I haven't thought things have been right for the last four of five weeks, and think it's best to go now, rather than mid-season."

"Don (Crosbie) and I had a few tough words then but the club wanting better discipline has nothing to do with it - there are other reasons which I don't want to go into.

"The club seemed to want to go in a different direction, but I don't want to settle for second best - I want to be the best, and gave my all to the job."

He added: "It's been a tough two years with all the things that have been thrown at us.

"I have enjoyed it, and got most of my decisions right.

"We finished third, despite the 10-point deduction - and won the league last season.

"I promised Don I would win him promotion, and achieved it."

Youth team manager Jason Whitmore has been put in caretaker-charge and took training on Thursday night ahead of the club's FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at Redhill on Saturday.

He will work with the other members of his coaching team, AFC Wimbledon defender Barry Fuller, Tim McCrae and former United centre back Lee Shearer who will be registered as a player.

Lye's backroom staff have also left, including club record goalscorer and No.2 Shaun Welford, as well as players, Rory Hill, Jason Goodchild and Adrian Stone.

Whitmore said: "Football is a fickle world, decisions happen and you can't change them.

"There is no long-term or short-term game for us - we are preparing for Saturday's game then will sit down and think about the future."

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