Friday, 20 September 2013

Darren Hepworth exit from AFC Emley is a huge shock

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
They say nothing should surprise you in football, but there are things that still do.
Darren Hepworth’s shock departure from AFC Emley this afternoon follows on from Steve Kittrick’s sacking from his position as Guiseley boss last week.
The difference between the two is that Kittrick’s exit had been anticipated since May, the only surprise being the timing being six games into the new season – with Hepworth, his ‘parting of the ways’ is totally out of the left-field.
The reaction from his players on Twitter tells its own story, this was an announcement no-one was expecting.
Since the popular Hepworth took the job permanent following Darren Bland’s departure, Emley have made strides as a club and not just as a first team.
The club’s under 19s and Development Squad are run in tandem with the first team and a number of players have made the step-up to the Northern Counties East League Division One.
In the league, Hepworth’s team have broken records. Emley reached the FA Vase fourth round last season and the third round win at Barnoldswick Town is hailed as one of the best wins in the club’s reformed history.
Last season Emley finished a record seventh with Ash Flynn scoring 42 goals. Hepworth lost Flynn in the summer to Shaw Lane Aquaforce, but was still planning an assault on promotion – something he has not been given the proper opportunity to do.
His team had made a steady start. The incredible FA Cup victory over Wigan will live long in the memory and after recently overcoming a difficult three games which saw three defeats and no-goals, Emley were back on track.
Hepworth needed a goal-scorer and he signed Adam Todd from Shaw Lane and he scored on his debut in the 2-1 win at Teversal – a game which has turned out to be Hepworth last match in charge.
That was the eighth game of the campaign and Hepworth leaves with Emley in seventh and seven points off leaders Eccleshill United and two points behind third-place with a game in hand – hardly a bad start to the season.
He has not done a lot wrong in two and a half years in charge – 73 wins in 138 games tells its own story.
Emley have let a very passionate and caring manager go and one that will probably go and achieve success at another club. His successor, who Emley hope to have in place by next Saturday, has a hard act to follow.

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