Ali Shulver takes charge of Haverhill Rovers

Ali Shulver

Ali Shulver

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Haverhill Rovers vice chairman Ali Shulver will act as caretaker manager for the rest of the season.

The committee decided to elevate Shulver to the position to avoid any mid-season disruption, having originally planned to have interviews for the post next week.

Peter Betts stepped down from the role before the 2-0 win at Kirkley and Pakefield United on November 3, though vowed to stay on as interim manager until a replacement was appointed.

The appointment of Shulver is a reversal of that decision, though with the 42 year old not hoping to take on the role full time New Croft bosses will still be looking for a manager come the end of the campaign.

Betts will still be involved at the club to assist Shulver, and Rovers will renew their search for a manager at the end of the campaign.

“The team has done well this season and is on a good tun of form (won the last four) so we want them to feel as comfortable as possible around the management team,” said Shulver.

“A lot of them came here for Pete so we want to change things as little as possible.”

Shulver has taken charge in Betts’ absence for two games this season – the 1-0 win at Norwich United and the 3-2 defeat at Gorleston.

He played in goal for Rovers in the early 1990s but was forced to retire through injury.

Shulver then managed Grampian to the Kershaw league and six trophies in four years, but stepped into youth management once son Rhys started playing.

Rhys, 15, was part of Rovers’ Eastern Junior Alliance squad but is not at Peterborough United.

Having had good feedback so far and being promoted into the under-16s, he is hopeful of winning a scholarship with The Posh.

Shulver is now relishing the opportunity to manage Rovers, though does not want to assume to post full time at the end of the season due to his involvement with his son’s football.

“It’s obviously going to be a challenge as it’s a tough league, but the most important thing is my relationship with the players and they’ve shown me respect and performed well in the two games that I’ve taken charge this season,” he said.

“This squad can compete against any team at this level – they showed that in the cup game at (Ryman Premier side) Leiston (drew 3-3, lost on penalties). We’re capable of beating anyone on a given day, so it’s all about consistency now.”

Shulver’s first game at the helm will be at home against 11th placed Woodbridge Town, who are currently three points and one place behind Rovers having thrashed third placed Brantham Athletic 4-0 in their last game.

Jamie Challis is still absent having suffered a groin strain while recovering from his knee injury.

A statement from the club’s committee read: “With the first team enjoying a fine run of form, it was felt that a mid season appointment could prove disruptive, and unsettle the current first team squad.

“The committee also noted that on the occasions when Mr Shulver had taken charge this season the first team players had performed well, thus negating the need for a rushed appointment.

“The committee still intend to appoint a new manager for the first team for the 2013/2014 season, and have made contact with all interested parties who applied for the position, informing them of the postponement of the interview process.

“Applications for the permanent manager’s position will be sought once again in the New Year, with the committee intending to appoint by the end of the current season to enable the new post holder to have a full pre-season to assemble their new squad.”

For all the latest sport see today’s (Thursday, November 29) Echo.

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