Staplehurst Monarchs Manager Luke Wallond has decided to leave the Kent County League club after they were denied a deserved promotion into the SCEFL.
Staplehurst were top of the Kent County Premier Division and heading for Step 6 when football was brought to a sudden halt in March.
With their season being declared Null and Void and another year at Step 7 looming a number of Staplehurst players and now the Manager are looking to take their game to the levels above.
Staplehurst Monarchs were top in the Current Table and the Points Per Game version but with neither chosen to decide their season the club will now have to rebuild their squad, starting with a new boss.
Wallond released this statement on Twitter earlier today;
“Being into football or not, a lot of people would have heard of Staplehurst Monarchs Football Club and how far they have come in recent years. Through commitment and determination the First Team at the Club have managed to win the League in 18/19 and was then on to repeat this feat in the 19/20 season.
We have managed through a lot of hard work and effort to begin building a stadium for the community of Staplehurst whilst bringing new people into our village.
This was through months of hard work from myself, Gordon reader the Chairman, The Management Team and many more behind the scenes.
We have spent hours in meetings, getting quotations, fighting for this stadium whilst having to change people’s views on what they first thought about getting a stadium in Staplehurst.
Unfortunately, the FA came to the Jubilee Ground to inspect in the 18/19 season and we did not pass the grading despite all the works we had carried out.
We appealed and between our hearing completed the small amount of works that did not pass.
Although we fought for our rightly deserved position we did not get to gain promotion to the SCEFL.
Players, although deservedly being able to play in the SCEFL stayed committed to Staplehurst to try and win the League again and gain promotion. We were well on the way to winning the League again this year being 7 points clear, but unfortunately due to Coronavirus we are unable to complete the league – which for everyone’s health and safety was the right thing to do.
Rightly or wrongly the FA are not letting anyone go up and my players are now wanting to push themselves further and are deservedly attracting interest from other clubs. They want to play in the SCEFL so can no longer commit to Staplehurst in the County League.
Due to all of the above it is with a very heavy heart and with the intentions of keeping as many of my team together, that I have spent 5 years building, I will be stepping down as Staplehurst Manager and looking for a new club at a higher level if that option is available.
I wish everyone involved with Staplehurst the best and truly had hoped that the FA had looked at each league in a different way so Staplehurst could be going up and rewarded for all their achievements. Then I could stay at Staplehurst and continue to help grow the club for many years.
I would like to thank everyone at the club for all their hard work and backing they have given me over the years. I have gained some incredibly good friends. I wish Staplehurst all the best for the future and hope they can gain their place in the SCEFL as soon as possible.”
Staplehurst Monarchs will release their own statement in due course.