Aylesbury FC boss resigns as pressure to promote youth takes its toll

Craig Faulconbridge has resigned as Aylesbury FC boss and will, in the shot-term at least, be replaced by assistant Keith Walker (left). His decision has been backed by chairman Danny Martone, pictured with the manager below at his unveiling in May last year
Craig Faulconbridge has resigned as Aylesbury FC boss and will, in the shot-term at least, be replaced by assistant Keith Walker (left). His decision has been backed by chairman Danny Martone, pictured with the manager below at his unveiling in May last year

Aylesbury FC are on the hunt for a new manager after Craig Faulconbridge resigned last night (Tuesday).

The Moles boss, who also runs an academy out of the club, said he has ‘not taken the decision lightly’ and stepped down to focus solely on youth development.

FC’s players were informed at a meeting before training tonight.

The club has confirmed Faulconbridge’s assistant Keith Walker and head coach Fraser McLachlan will be assisted by Jon Franklin to take charge of the first team while the club makes a ‘long term decision on a successor’.

The writing has been on the wall for the former Coventry City striker after an indifferent start to the season.

The Moles, who are on a run of three straight defeats, currently sit 15th in the Calor Southern League Division One Central and are out of the FA Cup, FA Trophy and League Cup. The departing boss has been irked by his team’s inconsistences this season, publicly criticising the attitude and application of some players, most notably after a 5-1 FA Cup humbling at home to Shortwood in September.

But there was the memorable win over arch rivals Aylesbury United in August and despite recent turbulence, Faulconbridge said it was with ‘regret’ that he had to come to the decision to resign.

“The decision was not taken lightly but was taken with the club’s best interests at heart,” he said.

“Throughout the whole of last season and the beginning of this, both myself and my company, Advanced Sports Ltd, have been working tirelessly to establish a competitive Football academy at the club that actually services the first team with young, up and coming players.

“The task has been an almost impossible one due to the nature of the football development in the town, but we have succeeded, not only in establishing it, but to begin the building process in sustaining and growing.

“This has impacted dramatically on my abilities to effectively run the first team, as both the academy and the first team demands 24 hour, seven day a week attention.

“So it is my decision to concentrate wholeheartedly on what is, at this stage, the most effective path both personally and for the club, ensuring it not only grows but provides a stable and solid base for the sustained growth of Aylesbury FC.”

FC chairman Danny Martone, who promoted Faulconbridge from player to manager when he replaced Steve Smith last May, thanked him for ‘keeping the club up last season’.

“We would like to thank Craig for taking the role nearly two years ago, keeping our position in the Southern League and last season pushing on to a creditable finish in Central Division One.

“The club fully understands and supports Craig’s position that the academy has to be his number one priority as it will form part of the foundations of the future of Aylesbury FC.”