Reigning Costcutter champions Cardigan Town have been dealt a huge blow with just a week to go before they begin their title defence with the news that player manager Steve Blackford has resigned. Writes Andrew Clarke.
The Magpies who as most sensible observers will know were not in the running for a ‘hat trick of titles’ this year especially with such a young team and realistically were targeting a top five finish- but even this looks a long shot without Blackford at the helm
‘Blackie’ as he is affectionately known by his team mates is an outstanding defender and an inspirational leader who captained the Magpies last term and who took over the reins from Seamus Doherty just a few weeks ago. He is understood to have found the role far more time consuming that he initially thought and possibly this may not have been helped by a lack of commitment from a few key players who have not yet committed themselves to Town despite working out with the club.
Numbers in training have been low considering the Magpies have two teams registered and with only 18 in attendance last night at the King George and many of these being fringe players it has come as no surprise to ‘Sportsline’ that Blackford has decided to throw the towel in although he is not ruling out putting his boots on at some stage and added: “I was always reluctant to take on the role as I know from experience the commitment levels required, and sure enough, it has proved to be the case.
“I take my hat off to anyone that gives their time to coach at senior and junior level, but it’s just something I can’t commit to at the moment.
“I’ve been saying I’ll retire for the past ten years, but I’m sure I’ll still lace the boots and play at some point in the season”
Cardigan will have to regroup and find a replacement and quickly as they open their season next Wednesday with a home fixture against division new boys Cilgerran.
They can call upon inexperienced assistant manager Iestyn Evans but his decision will certainly depend on who stays at the King George as Blackford is a talisman and there is a strong possibility that a few players could be on their way by the end of the week and if this happens another reserve team will be left hanging on by their fingertips.
One possibility would be to coax inspirational club stalwart Justin Evans out of managerial retirement to steer his beloved club out of the current crisis.