Chairman insists Wetherby Athletic are in ‘healthy position’ despite player and coach exodus

Wetherby Athletic striker Charlie Yates went to Brigg Town in pre-season but has returned to Wetherby in the past week (Photo: Visualised Photography)

Wetherby Athletic striker Charlie Yates went to Brigg Town in pre-season but has returned to Wetherby in the past week (Photo: Visualised Photography)

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Wetherby Athletic chairman Angus Taylor has launched an impassioned statement stating the club’s forward direction, after a fifth senior coach departed the club.

Reserve team boss David Cope walked out on Athletic following the second team’s West Riding County Trophy exit at Burley Trojans, a match which saw them take to the field with only ten men.

Following Des English’s resignation as reserve team boss at the end of last season, the Ingsmen have also seen Under 21 bosses Martin Powell and Ben Lawrence, Reserve team coach Lewis Atkinson leave.

Taylor revealed that eight managers 30 players have exited the club in total over the first three months of the season “for one reason or another”.

Athletic’s management will hold a players’ meeting in the next week but Taylor insisted the future remained strong.

In a statement, he said: “The club is in a healthy position and we have a really bright future.

Wetherby Athletic chairman Angus Taylor (Photo: Visualised Photography)

Wetherby Athletic chairman Angus Taylor (Photo: Visualised Photography)

“We have some fantastic and loyal people involved and throughout this transitional phase, a spine of real solidarity has emerged at Wetherby Athletic FC.

“This is something that I am really pleased to view and be a part of.

“No club is perfect and no club can lay claim to getting it right first time.

“We have already put into place policies that strengthen certain areas. Several more are being implemented that will help us grow the right way.

“We want to be here for many more years to come and by making these changes now; we have further strengthened the foundations of the club.

“Expansion and growth will always be at the root of Wetherby Athletic FC, but we have to do it in a sustainable and quantifiable manner.”

Four of the club’s brightest talents left to join Brigg Town at the start of the season, while midfielder Will Peers, who had been signed from Brigg, made his debut for Harrogate Railway on Saturday.

Taylor added: “We have never held any player back from wanting to play at a higher standard and we are pleased that we have contributed to a number actually achieving that goal over the last year or so. We have always stated that we want players to develop and find the right club at a higher level, if that is what they want and we can realistically help them to accomplish it.

“When we make a decision, we try to make it in and for the best interest of our players, however there also has to be an element of it being the correct one, be it financially or otherwise, for Wetherby Athletic as well.

“We understand that some people may not always like or agree with these decisions and for this we can only apologise, but they are always done in the best interests of our players and club.”