HARTLEY Wintney FC is set to have a new first team manager following the decision by Anthony Millerick to step down.

Millerick, also known as ‘Millers’, who has overseen two league titles, a play-off win and two promotions during his tenure at the club, is to step down as first team manager at the end of the 2021-22 season.

It will bring to an end his seven seasons at the helm, a time of unprecedented success for the north Hampshire club, but it will not bring an end to his time with the club.

He will move into the newly created position of Director of Football at Hartley Wintney FC and will also become the club's new commercial manager.

With the Row having come so far in recent years, the club says it is vital to improve the infrastructure at board level, and the club sees Millerick’s appointments to these roles to be hugely beneficial going forward.

Millerick joined Hartley at the start of the 2015-16 season, alongside co-manager Dan Brownlie. The impact was immediate, with the team ending the season as Combined Counties Premier Division champions.

Off-field improvements couldn't match the pace of the on-field success, and promotion was prevented due to ground grading. Despite outsider comments that the team would break up, the loyalty of its players and coaches steered the Row to a successive championship title in 2016-17. By this time, substantial ground improvements had been completed as required, and the club were able to take their place at Step 4, in the Southern League South, East division.

The first season for the club at Step 4 surpassed all expectations, with Hartley winning through the play-offs to take them to the Southern League Premier South; from Step 5 to Step 3 in just two seasons.

Millerick's time in management stretches back well before his tenure at Hartley, and so while the club will be sorry to see him step down, it said it fully understands he feels it is time for him to take a break.

Hartley Wintney chairman Luke Mullen praised Millerick's achievements. He said: "What Millers achieved on the pitch, initially alongside Dan, took us from a step 5 side in rural Hampshire that could cause the occasional cup upset, to a team that over-achieved season after season, without the profile or budget of most of our competition.

“Everyone brought their passion to this little club, and loyalty and team spirit has taken us a long way.

“Millers would want me to put on record the support he's had from Vice Chairman, Steve Noakes, who recently stood down as assistant manager. Both have been very loyal to us. Millers has turned down no end of more lucrative offers. It says a lot about how much he holds the club in his heart, and I am delighted he will be taking on two hugely important roles with us from next season."