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Ebbsfleet United are looking for a new manager after deciding not to renew the contract of Kevin Watson

Kevin Watson has expressed his disappointment at Ebbsfleet United’s decision to let him go.

Watson’s contract is due to expire at the end of this month and Fleet are now looking in a different direction.

Kevin Watson's contract at Ebbsfleet United is up at the end of this month and won't be renewedPicture: Sean Aidan
Kevin Watson's contract at Ebbsfleet United is up at the end of this month and won't be renewedPicture: Sean Aidan

He initially took charge of the club on a temporary basis following Garry Hill’s departure before assuming the role for the remainder of the campaign, on a deal until the end of the season.

A club statement said: “The club would like to place on record its thanks to Kevin and his staff for their efforts to stabilise the season, achieving 17 points from nine matches leading into the lockdown and eventual cancellation of the season.

“Kevin was appointed to the role under difficult circumstances and after a poor start to the season. The club would like to thank him for stepping in and stabilising results in the New Year prior to the premature end to the season the global coronavirus pandemic necessitated.

“The club wishes Kevin all the best in the future and are grateful for his efforts during his tenure here at Ebbsfleet United FC.”

Kevin Watson was appointed manager in November, after previously being caretaker Picture: Sean Aidan
Kevin Watson was appointed manager in November, after previously being caretaker Picture: Sean Aidan

Director of football Steve Lovell stays on to oversee recruitment and retention. The club say they will provide an update on “the future football performance structure” in due course.

Fleet are still waiting on news from the National League over whether they will be relegated.

Watson, writing on Twitter, said: “Obviously extremely disappointed to have received this news but I enjoyed my time at the club and know I did my best along with my staff and players to get out of a difficult situation.

"We went a long way to getting there and would have had the season finished, I’m convinced.

“Naturally I’m extremely disappointed with this news but that's football I guess.

“I would like to thank everyone, staff, players and supporters who have been superb since I joined. Good luck going forward.”

Fleet added to their earlier statement on Tuesday night, saying: "At the end of every contract there is a decision to be made on whether the best course of action is to enter into a new deal, or whether the club is better served taking another option.

"Opinion is wide and varied in football on any manner of subjects. In the same way managers such as Kevin and all other football managers must make hard and difficult decisions on whether to renew and retain players for the new season, so too must the club make hard and difficult decisions about the management team and staff.

"During unprecedented tough times globally and certainly in football, the number one priority for the club is to use process and a thorough approach when making important appointments, to provide a platform and foundation for the future.

"Without detracting from the contribution Kevin made to the club having being given the opportunity in October 2019 to step into the role vacated by Garry Hill, the club has made a decision to go in another direction.

"An applied and measured process around the selection of the long-term members of the football performance staff at the club is best practice and the right process to follow."

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