Swaffham Town manager Paul Hunt makes ‘tough decision’ to quit

Former Swafham manager Paul Hunt. Picture: Nick Butcher

Former Swafham manager Paul Hunt. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The surprise exit of manager Paul Hunt has brought a sudden end to a successful era at Swaffham Town.

Hunt was the third longest serving manager in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League, having just begun his sixth season in charge at Shoemakers Lane.

The former Pedlars player informed the club of his decision after a 4-1 home win over Newmarket on Saturday – with a new business venture due to take up too much of Hunt's time cited as the reason for his decision.

'Paul had done an absolutely superb job,' chairman Mick Simmons said. 'We are feeling a bit shellshocked by the decision but Paul has started his own business and had a decision to make and he felt he couldn't give the job the time it required any more.'

Matthew Parkinson is set to be interim player-manager following a meeting of the club's committee.

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'Everyone at the club has the utmost respect for Paul and we all applaud the work he has done in the last five years,' Simmons continued.

'If you look at where we were to where we are now, performing well in a division higher, we are in a much stronger position. So we are looking for stability and not a knee-jerk reaction.

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'This wasn't a result-based decision, it's just the way of the world. While football is important, it's secondary to your life and your job and for Paul that's the decision he had to make.'

The Pedlars were promoted to the Premier Division last season and have made a good start to life at a higher level, making it an even tougher decision for Hunt.

'I've been committed 100 per cent to the football club this last five years but I was getting to the point where I was having to commit more time to my new business and wouldn't be able to do the football club justice,' Hunt said. 'So it was a really tough decision because it's a fantastic club with a group of players who are really special with how loyal they are, their resilience and their commitment.'

He added: 'I only made the decision last week that I couldn't do both because this is potentially going to be my income for the next 10 or 20 years – and I'm a single parent as well, I have my son full-time, so I had to do right by him as well.'

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