Departed Shoreham boss Death: I’m proud of trying to do things properly

Michael Death says he can hold his head high after his resignation as Shoreham FC manager – and believes he tried to do things the right way at the club.
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Death and the Musselmen mutually agreed he should go after a poor start to the season for Shoreham following promotion to the SCFL premier as Division 1 champions.

He has been replaced by Paul Ettridge, who has now announced Kieran Collins will stay on as assistant manager and Ryan Gayler has joined as head coach. Physio Matt Rogers also stays with the club.

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Death told us: “I guess I could say that I’m proud of trying to do things properly and build the club up the ‘right’ way. As with anything my intentions were right and I had a go at trying to buck a very common non-league trend.

Michael Death has left Shoreham | Picture: Will CharltonMichael Death has left Shoreham | Picture: Will Charlton
Michael Death has left Shoreham | Picture: Will Charlton

“What’s the point in just throwing this at that player and that at this player to get them to come to the club? It was about redeveloping from the ground up with players that actually want to be there and we can build the club around over a number of years, especially after losing the experience we did from the season before, as those players called a day on playing after such a successful season.

“Where’s the difficulty in opening a black book of the same 8/9 players, for example, and getting them to come to a club? How does the club benefit long term, when they all go somewhere else at the next drop of a hat? There’s no skill in that, “oh get him in he’s got a great little black book”.

“It should be about making players that want to be there better players for the club and better people - and making players want to be at the club because they’re treated properly and feel at home. That’s what I tried to do. Rightly or wrongly, naively maybe, I didn’t want to cheat or cut corners, so I didn’t. I wanted to do things the way a football club should.

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“I’m happy to fall on my shield by at least trying. Could I have gone out and done the same old stuff? Yes. Did I choose not to? Yes. Did I expect it to be tough? Yes. Did I think it would be worth it in the long run? Absolutely yes.

“But unfortunately, it became too tough and, although fine margins at times and some incredibly bad luck, the results became such that I told the club if we didn’t win one of those last two games, I would offer my resignation - so that’s what I did.

“They took time and decided to accept it and here we are. In all honesty now I’m just frustrated and sad, but I’m proud I tried to stick to my principles.

“What’s the point in spending this and that and finishing 10th, then doing the same all over again the following season, when you can build around a brilliant set of youngsters and maybe finish 17th/18th, then progress properly from there, the right way in my eyes. Not just the same old county league roundabout of players and pointless seasons. Try building something proper.

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“We were never going to go down, and plans were in place to strengthen the side and the set-up after the Bexhill game, but when we lost that game in the manner we did, I had to stick to my word.

“I love the club and we’ve shared some incredible achievements and I hope they do well with whatever the new/same old plan will be going forward. I’ll be back stronger when the time and place is right.”

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