We are sorry to announce that after eleven years as Sutton United manager Paul Doswell has tendered his resignation with immediate effect. Paul had decided to take a break from the role a month ago, intending to return for next season, but he has now decided that he is unable to continue due to the time and distance that is involved in travelling from his home in Winchester, and has made his decision permanent. The players were informed after today’s game against Maidstone, and Ian Baird, Micky Stephens and Matt Gray will continue to take charge of the team for Saturday’s last game of the season at Dover.
Paul took over following our relegation from the National League South in 2008, and after two unsuccessful appearances in the Isthmian League play-offs, guided U’s to the championship in 2011. In five seasons at that level U’s reached the playoffs again on two occasions before a late run to the championship in the 2015-16 season. Two seasons later we achieved our highest ever league placing of third in the National League, again suffering defeat in the play-offs, and were in contention for a play-off place this season until the penultimate game of the season.. Of course in amongst that was an FA Cup run that no-one involved with the club will forget, victories against Cheltenham, Wimbledon and Leeds leading to a fifth round home tie against Arsenal that caught the imagination in the UK and far beyond. In addition, Paul was the driving force behind the installation of the 3G pitch which has seen the club become such an important part of the community, and the creation of the academy which has been such a success over the past three years.
Club chairman Bruce Elliott said: ‘How do you begin to pay tribute to Dos’s contribution to Sutton United over the past eleven years? We were at a low ebb when he joined us, when if you had said that we would within ten years be playing clubs such as Leyton Orient, Hartlepool and Tranmere as equals you would probably have been laughed at, but it has been an unforgettable ride, including two league championships, our highest ever league placing and, of course, an experience in the FA Cup the like of which we have never seen before and may never see again. Together with fulfilling his vision of having a pitch where the clubs’ teams could all play, and which could be opened to the community, he leaves the club in a position that was barely conceivable when he took over. His enthusiasm and commitment to Sutton United has been remarkable, and he has pulled everyone at the club along with him in his desire to be the best that we can beat our level . We are very sad that he has made this decision, but fully understand his reasons for doing so and wish him and his family, which we know is so important to him, every happiness in the future, although we hope we will still see him, and them, at a club where they will always be welcome.”
Paul said: ”I’ve taken the hardest decision in my life to leave Sutton United at this time and it’s been extremely difficult to make, but ultimately after eleven years of travelling two hours there and back sometimes four times a week it’s become impossible for me to keep going. It’s been the most incredible journey and one I have put my heart and soul into. Why the club became such a huge part of my life was simply down to a magnificent Chairman,Board of Directors and the numerous quite brilliant volunteers and supporters that help make this most unique club what it is. Its core values, and everyone working together, and no one person is more important than any other,is something I’ve never seen at any other football club.
I will treasure that feeling of togetherness and support and feel immensely proud of what we all achieved together. I am convinced the club has strong and deep foundations to continue its fine progress and the move to being a true community football club will continue to bring rich dividends, and I leave the club very sad but also very proud.”