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Jack Midson comments on his Sheppey United departure as manager and the club’s chief executive Shelley Holtam responds

Jack Midson says his decision to walk away as manager of Sheppey United was tough.

The Isthmian South East side announced Midson’s surprise departure on Friday morning, following a meeting between the manager and chairman Matt Smith the day before.

Jack Midson has left his position as Sheppey manager. Picture: Marc Richards
Jack Midson has left his position as Sheppey manager. Picture: Marc Richards

Midson had until recently combined first-team player-management duties with running the post-16 academy through his coaching company, in partnership with the Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone.

Sheppey had to change their education provider after funding was withdrawn from Cornwallis Academy at the end of last month, agreeing to a partnership instead with Soccer Elite. Midson was happy to stay on as first-team manager, willing to focus on improving last year’s standing which saw the Ites finish just outside the play-offs.

Midson said: “I stepped down on Thursday, there were a few issues from the academy stuff that changed quite drastically. I wasn’t 100% happy with how that was handled.

“I am professional enough to split the jobs between the academy and first team as normal, but it seemed to run over with that and there were a few issues unexpectedly, which I couldn’t see why or how.

“I was really gutted to come away from a squad we were building, but there were certain things which I couldn’t sit and take, for my own sanity I needed to come away from the place.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I do thank everyone. I was given my first manager’s role at Sheppey and I will be forever thankful for that, but I wasn’t happy to fall in line anymore with stuff I don’t agree with.”

Last season the Ites narrowly missed out on a play-off place. Midson had taken over as manager on the eve of the season after the sudden departure of quadruple-winning boss Ernie Batten.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said of his year in charge.

“Sheppey needed someone and I felt like it was a perfect fit. It served a purpose for both parties and it is just sad the way it ended but I am not going to hold any grudges, I am happy to move on and onto something else.

“I am sure the club will be successful, they have a good squad and either the interim or permanent coach is very lucky to have those players. Hopefully they will do the club proud.

“Making that decision to leave was really tough. I have built something there; I am proud of what I did there and leave with my head held high.”

Since leaving, Midson has been enjoying some much-needed family time and while some offers to get back to playing have already come in, he’s not jumping straight into anything.

He said: “I will see how my body feels because I am 40 in September! We will see how that pans out.”

In response, Sheppey chief executive Shelley Holtam said: “We did not want to make any further comment, however, both myself and the chairman were somewhat disappointed that during the meeting Jack did speak about leaving, however, he failed to raise any issues he now details after the event that he clearly had with the club, chairman or myself.

“Also Jack makes no reference to the club educational academy issues, the other club interview and unauthorised absences, that were too discussed during the meeting.

“We will not comment on this subject any further and wish Jack all the best for their future in football.

“I would personally ask supporters to now get behind Ross Wiles and the team whilst the board decides on the next manager.”

The club has said applications for the role will close this Friday (July 21).

Midson denied having any contact with other clubs about potential managerial positions elsewhere. His last game as Sheppey boss was a friendly against Bowers & Pitsea last Tuesday night which was abandoned after an injury to an opposition player.

Sheppey’s Isthmian League season starts on Saturday, August 12, away to Broadbridge Heath.

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