Chalford Manager Ben Powell and his Assistant, Ben Newman, are stepping down from their positions at the end of the 2023/24 season, the club have announced.
The current Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Champions have confirmed that the duo would be seeing out the final 18 games of the season, before leaving their roles after eight seasons in charge.
Following the news, Powell has spoken to Severn Sport about the decision and admits it has been a really hard one to make, not just for him but for Newman as well.
“Naturally it was a really tough decision, if I’m honest and something we had to give a lot of consideration,” Powell said.
“I’ve had eight seasons with the First Team and Newman’s done seven, so we’ve done a fair stint between us! The lads aren’t just people who play for us, they’re genuinely close mates which makes it even tougher.
For now it’s business as usual but I’m sure it’ll hit home more nearer the end of the season.
Being honest, we were very close to stepping down at the end of last season, but it had the potential to leave the club without a management team and the risk of a core of players leaving – so we said we’d stay on as we’d worked too hard to let it fall apart, particularly after losing in the play-offs.
We are hoping by doing it this way, it will give the committee time to get things sorted and maintain stability around the club,” Powell added.
During his time in charge of the club, Powell has overseen two league title winning campaigns and three Reg Davis Cup wins and looking back at his time at Chalford, Powell says he is proud of the environment he, Newman and his side have created, both on and off the pitch.
“I’m immensely proud of my stint in charge,” Powell said. “I’ve been part of the senior set up at the club since I was 14 and I’m now 38, so to oversee the most successful period the club has had, has been fantastic and a hugely rewarding journey.
We managed to create an environment where people wanted to come and play, to do that alongside one of my closest mates makes it even better.
We’ve had two league titles with unbeaten seasons, three Reg Davis Cup Final wins, and a couple of seasons as runners up and if you’d gave me that 8 years ago, I’d have snapped your hand off.
We’ve not only been able to witness a good football team but we’ve managed to create a fantastic environment throughout the club, with all four sides, committee and supporters,” Powell added.
Chalford have only played 12 league games this season and with 18 games left, Powell says the most important thing between now and the end of the campaign, is ensuring that the players enjoy the rest of the season and can leave themselves in a great position ahead of the new regime next season – despite potential disappointment about the decision.
“I think there’s some obvious disappointment, but that said, they completely understand our decision and reasons.
We’ve put some pressure on ourselves this season to emulate last season and we forgot about the enjoyment side of the game, so the focus now is to enjoy the next 18 games and see where that takes us.
I want the boys to finish the season with a smile on there face and set themselves up to go again next season,” said Powell.
With the club now looking forward to a new era for the 2024/25 season, Powell says he will continue to support the club and says the club is a fantastic proposition for the next manager.
“Chalford is a fantastic club with great people behind the scenes,” said Powell.
“Chalf is a family and whoever comes in will undoubtedly get well supported, as Newman and myself have been.
I’m really hopeful the majority of the group stay together, because they’re not only a brilliant bunch of footballers but they’re a fantastic group of mates.
It’s rare a group like this stay together and I’m hoping we get to watch them as supporters, rather than managers, next season,” added Powell.
Anyone wishing to apply for the Chalford First Team Manager position is encouraged to contact the club via social media or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org