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Shorten leaves a legacy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 July 2010

Mark Boggis

AFTER overseeing the most successful period in the history of Kirkley & Pakefield FC, Nick Shorten is looking forward to his new role at the Walmer Road outfit.

Mark Boggis

AFTER overseeing the most successful period in the history of Kirkley & Pakefield FC, Nick Shorten is looking forward to his new role at the Walmer Road outfit.

Shorten's last match as KP Royals boss ended in a goalless draw away at Mildenhall - but this result ensured the club's highest-ever finish of sixth place in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

And after a decade in charge of a side that've made major strides both on and off the field in progressing through the Anglian Combination into the top-flight of Eastern Counties League football, Shorten reflected upon his time at the helm - and admitted he had “no regrets” over the decision.

“I have been asked many times over the last few months since making my decision to stand down if I have any regrets - the answer has been and remains… no regrets!” he told The Journal.

“I will clearly miss one part of the managerial proceedings, namely the dressing room, where I have had lots of fun over the years.

“The things I won't miss and can no longer commit too far outweigh this sacrifice.

“I will now have more time with my family and also more time to give to the club on the issues where my experience outside and inside of football can add the most value,” he added.

Looking back upon numerous successes and achievements, Shorten praised a real team ethos that had left a long-lasting legacy in the Walmer Road clubhouse.

“I have had a great time, made many friends and I am proud of my achievements both on and off the field,” he said.

“However I will not take credit for these, it has been a team effort.

“My management and coaching team of Andy Armes, Paul Graham, Mitch Rumsey and Dave Burrows - who I thank immensely - have assisted in building a football team and a legacy that we will handover to the new managers. A legacy that will promote and give young players a chance - I am confident that Stewart and Jon will continue this approach....it was clearly part of their job description.... and in my new role they will both get my full support in this area.”

Reunited with two of his former stalwart players, Shorten - in his new adult football director role at Walmer Road - will once again work with Larter and Reynolds next season.

And with the hard work now commencing for the new management duo, as they already look towards targets for the 2009-10 campaign,

In the Millennium season of 1999-2000 Shorten took over as manager - and there was immediate joy as midfielder Reynolds had scored the winning penalty to win the Anglian Combination Premier Division.

Winning the Sterry Cup in this first campaign led to an unprecedented period of success for Shorten and Kirkley.

And with Larter joining in the 2000-01 season, he went onto score in two successive winning Suffolk Senior Cup finals at Portman Road

The trio will reunite at Walmer Road once more, and for Shorten he is looking forward to the new challenge.

“Outside of the dressing room I have had the pleasure of working with an excellent committee who I will continue to work with in the future,” Shorten said.

“It has been a fantastic 10 years and I always said it would be at this point where I would look to a change. I believe this is a long enough stay in any managerial role.”

What have been his highlights?

“Looking back, some of my most memorable moments off the pitch have been my first meeting with John Pitts and Pakefield FC where we started the whole partnership journey; standing up and presenting our plans to the town hall planning committee and getting the vote to proceed with the whole Walmer Road development plan; seeing our first floodlit game at Walmer Road,” he said.

“On the pitch, the first Sterry Cup clinched in the ninth minute of injury time by a Jon Reynolds penalty; a sudden death penalty from Simon West to see us through to Portman Road for a first Senior Cup victory; the treble season; the promotion from Ridgeons Division One to the Premier League and our first derby game with our home town.....there are many more.

“It's been a tremendous experience and I thank all of my friends in football for their support during my time as manager.

“I remain absolutely committed to developing our fantastic club further and keeping us as the best community club in the region.”

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