Shorten set for new K&P role

Mark BoggisKirkley & Pakefield FC will begin looking for a new manager after Nick Shorten revealed he will stand down at the end of the season.After nearly a decade in charge of the Walmer Road outfit, which has seen them climb from the Anglian Combination to second in the Ridgeons League Premier Division, Shorten says he can no longer commit enough time to the task of leading the KP Royals.Mark Boggis

Kirkley & Pakefield FC will begin looking for a new manager after Nick Shorten revealed he will stand down at the end of the season.

After nearly a decade in charge of the Walmer Road outfit, which has seen them climb from the Anglian Combination to second in the Ridgeons League Premier Division, Shorten says he can no longer commit enough time to the task of leading the KP Royals.

However, he will not be leaving the club and will move upstairs to a new role - and will also help the club find his successor.

Speaking exclusively to The Journal, Shorten said: 'I have decided as I approach 10 years as manager of Kirkley & Pakefield's first team to stand down from my position at the end of the current season.


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'The principal reason for this decision is my work commitments, which now involve increased travel, significant responsibility and less time with my family.

'The reason for making this public now is that it will give myself and the club a window of opportunity to bring in a suitable successor prior to the end of this season and in turn deliver a valuable transition period for the new management to review what we have and develop their plans to take the team forward in the future.'

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The former Ashlea and Kirkley star said the team at Walmer Road had been an integral part of his life.

'I have always made it clear that I will not allow my football to compromise my work and family life and that I would not allow my commitments outside of football to compromise and restrict the team in moving forward,' Shorten said.

'When you realise that you cannot deliver your own ambitions it is time to make a change and that is what I have decided to do.

'I have had some fantastic times at the helm and I am truly proud of what the team has achieved during my time as manager.'

Reflecting on the club's meteoric rise through the league's to their current status of having more than 50 teams and hundreds of youngsters and adults playing football every weekend, Shorten looked back on a glittering, trophy-laden chapter in the club's history books.

'To think 10 years ago we were playing on a field with a rope around the pitch in a league that our reserves are now moving fast towards is sometimes hard to comprehend and to often we forget where we have come from and what has been delivered,' Shorten admitted. 'If I look back for my most memorable moments, I think about the Jon Reynolds penalty that won us the Anglian combination premier division in my first season and witnessed my first captain Andy Armes lift the coveted Sterry Cup.

'The memories of our first visit to Portman Road the following season and seeing Leon Harewood lift the Suffolk Senior Cup. We were quickly there again the next year and a late Stewart Larter strike took us to extra time before Leon again picked up the cup.

'It was this season that we became the first side in history to win the treble,' Shorten recalled.

This then led to a dramatic transformation off the pitch as Shorten led a development team working hard behind the scenes to build to a new period of change.

'It all changed as we went up to the Ridgeons League and after a year in Division One we witnessed Walmer Road celebrate as we were promoted and joined our own town's side in the Premier Division, something that the vast majority of local football followers never believed could happen and here we are on the day I make this announcement sitting in second place in the Premier Division with only our home town side sitting above us,' Shorten said.

'It goes without saying that a manager is only as good as his team and I have had the pleasure to work with a fantastic management, coaching and playing team over these 10 years.

'Andrew Armes, Mitch Rumsey and Paul Graham have been with me pretty consistently and have been the cornerstone to my success in this role. I had a great time working with Carl Chenery and Dave Burrows and I am really pleased to see Carl doing so well at Leiston.

'I have managed some fantastic players and some real characters and had some great dressing room laughs and a number of rants - and it is the dressing room environment and craic that I will miss the most,' Shorten revealed.

But while he was quick to stress this departure from the dressing room, Shorten concluded by saying: 'I have not left as manager yet. I remain committed to this role until the end of the season and the players remain committed to finishing as high up the table as possible,' he said.

'I also want to make it clear that I am also committed to staying actively involved in the running of the club for the long term and will be leading the selection and appointment of the new manager, a position we will be advertising and taking our time to secure the right quality of individual.'

Despite his departure in May, Shorten will remain an influential figure at Walmer Road as he looks ahead to an equally 'exciting' future.

'We still have huge ambition to make this club the flagship for all FA Community clubs in East Anglia and beyond,' he revealed. 'We have exciting plans for our facilities and the club will now hopefully gain from me being able to spend the time, that I can comfortably commit, to take the club forward in terms of Infrastructure and Brand.

'As well as being proud of my achievements as a manager I am just as proud to be involved in leading the development team to get our facilities in the place they are today and I am looking forward to supporting the off-the-pitch team and committee moving forward - this is the team that provide the 'life-blood' of our fantastic football club,' he concluded.

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