STUART and Matt Hussey will take the helm at Totton & Eling following Kevin Dawtry’s decision to stand down after five-and-a-half years at the Sydenhams Premier club.
Having spent nearly four decades in the game, Dawtry admits he is “all footballed out.”
He advised T&E chairman Ed Holmes that he was thinking of leaving around three weeks ago at a time when he was being heavily linked – incorrectly – with the vacant Christchurch post.
Although Dawtry didn’t apply for the Priory position, several would-be candidates enquired with Holmes about the T&E job, should it become available. Among them were the Hussey brothers who are set take charge of their first match at Alton on Friday.
Weather permitting, Dawtry will make his farewells away to Newport IoW tomorrow (Wednesday).
The ex-Saint’s decision to leave T&E simply boils down to the fact that he is no longer enjoying it.
“I’ve always preached desire to the players and if you stand in the dressing room and don’t have that desire yourself, it’s not fair on anyone,” he said. “I took stock of things around Christmas-time and inti mated to the chairman that all wasn’t well.
“Saturdays are fine, but the rest of it has worn me down. I was coming home from work on a Tuesday think ing ‘do I really want to go to training?’ “I’ve been at the club for five-and-a-half years and I think some of the players need a new voice in the dress ing room – it certainly felt like it on Saturday when we lost 2-0 to (bottom club) Lymington!
“A lot of the players have texted me to say which club am I going to next, but I can categorically state I’m going nowhere – except horse-racing!
“I know people will link me with Christchurch, but I haven’t applied. If I wasn’t that motivated at Totton & Eling, would it really be any different at Christchurch?”
Having lifted T&E (formerly BAT Sports) out of Sydenhams One in his first full season in charge, Dawtry led them to seventh place in the Premier Division and vic tory over Gosport Borough in the Russell Cotes Cup final.
But the club’s move from their old Southern Gardens headquarters to the new ground took a heavy toll and, having been in football since the age of 16, Dawtry needs a rest.
Paying tribute to the departing manager, chairman Holmes said: “Kevin is an honourable gentleman and extremely loyal. I’d trust him with anything. There are not many like him around. “But he was finding it hard trying to give me support in a club that needs a lot of turning around and it was good that we could talk about it so openly. He deserves to go out on a high.”