Cinderford Town manager Paul Michael and assistant Andrew Smith have stepped down from their roles to join Yate Town.
They replace Paul Britton, who recently stepped down after a four-year tenure with the Bluebells, in which he guided them back to the Southern League Premier Division with a play off triumph in 2018-19 – ironically beating Cinderford Town at Lodge Road.
Michael joined the Foresters in November 2016 from Welsh League side Risca United where he has achieved a great deal in a small time, taking the side from near the bottom of Division Three to Division One in a short period of time.
The Foresters’ 2019-20 Southern League Division One South campaign ended with them sitting in eighth place, three places and four points off the play-off spots.
They had 12 games left and had at least one game in hand on those in the top five – and two on fifth-placed Melksham.
They had reached the play-offs in 2018-19 after finishing fifth and after beating Cirencester Town in the semi-final lost 3-1 in the final to Michael’s new club Yate.
Announcing Michael and Smith’s departure, chairman Stuart Tait told the club’s website; “Its with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Paul Michael and Andrew Smith have stepped down from their management role with immediate effect.”
”I would like to take this opportunity of thanking them both for there professionalism over the last three and a half years whilst representing Cinderford Town Football Club, from a personal perspective they will both be hugely missed I have no doubt will be successful in there future endeavours.”
Michael released the following statement: “I’d like to thank everyone at Cinderford Town for the support you have given Smudge and I over the past three and half years. I’m very proud of the job that we have done, all together, as a club, on and off the field over that time with so much hard work.
“We have had some great moments and good times, I leave with very fond memories.
“I’d like to make public a special personal thanks to Stuart Tait with whom I’ve worked closely throughout my tenure, our relationship has been very positive and I have always felt supported.
“Stuart and the committee gave me the opportunity to manage Cinderford Town, an opportunity I have thoroughly enjoyed and a role I will always be proud to have held.
“I’d like to thank the supporters who followed us everywhere from wet & wild Tuesday’s to sunny afternoons on The Causeway to cheer us on, thank you.
“To every player that has worn a Cinderford Town shirt during my tenure, whether you played one minute or almost every game, I’m so proud that you chose to work with us, I’ve learnt from you and loved working with you.
“Kevin Brain has been the most committed staff member you can ask for going over and above time and time again, he’s played no small part in our group, thank you Kev.
“To everyone behind the scenes who I will contact privately, the hard work that goes on to put Cinderford on the footing that it is doesn’t go unnoticed, you are the heart of the club.
“You are the people that make the football club, it is your club and I wish you every success in the future.”