Wormull: I thought I was going in this morning to talk about next year. I put my heart and soul into club – I’m devastated

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Simon Wormull has spoken of his devastation at being told he no longer has a job at Lewes Football Club.

The Rooks player/manager was informed this morning that he would be leaving the Dripping Pan ‘with immediate effect’.

A club statement released today said that Board felt “a change was very important to enable the club to move forward”, adding that “being involved in a relegation battle has been extremely disappointing.”

But Wormull told the Sussex Express: “I’m devastated.”

Asked if he was anticipating news of his departure, he said: “No I wasn’t. I thought I was going in this morning to talk about next year and the plans we had in place.

“It was all pretty swift.”

Wormull spoke of all the work he put into the club – both at first team level and also with the Academy the club had set up. He also spoke of the financial restraints he had to work within this season, and also the terrible injury problems that blighted his side’s campaign,

“I put in a hell of a lot of work to get the academy up and running,” he said, “and a hell of a lot of hours into the first team as well.

“I worked with a huge reduction in the budget, that needs to be known. It was the sixth worst in the league, and I know that for a fact.

“I worked to that budget to the last day of the season, something I was over the moon with.”

Wormull admits the club came too close to relegation, but insisted: “There were a lot of positives. We were decimated with injuries this year. That has played a major part in our season.

“Yes, it was too close to call but once we managed to save ourselves this year, I was looking to push on next year.”

“What we have done this year is to build a good foundation.

“In two, three years time, it would have been a great team to watch.

“I want to thank the fans. They have been absolutely wonderful and I love the club.

“I put my heart and soul into Lewes. I was doing a full time job.

“I’m gutted.”

In a statement released soon after his dismissal, the club today said that “being involved in a relegation battle has been extremely disappointing”.

Lewes finally avoided relegation to the Ryman South on goal difference.

The club statement in full read: “Lewes FC announces the departure of Simon Wormull as First Team Manager with immediate effect.

“Though the playing budget was reduced this season in line with what the club could afford, the Board set it at a level that was nevertheless competitive for the Ryman Premier Division – so expectations were still for a good campaign.

“Being involved in a relegation battle has been extremely disappointing. Off the field, the club has worked very hard to create a platform from which to start building again and the near-relegation experience has been particularly difficult in that context.

“No one treats changing Manager lightly but the Board felt that such a change was very important to enable the club to move forward.

The club thanks Simon for his work over the last two seasons and wishes him all the best for the future.”

The statement added: “The club welcomes applications for the First Team Manager’s position either by email to club secretary Kevin Brook at clubsecretary@lewesfc.com or in writing to Lewes Football Club, The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Road, Lewes, BN7 2XA by Monday 13th May.

“There is a quarterly Open Fans’ Forum scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday 15th May at the Dripping Pan where fans can ask any questions they may have.”

See this Friday’s Sussex Express for more reaction to this story.