Borough promote new manager into hot seat

STEPPING DOWN: Martin Westcott (right) has stepped down as manager at Haverhill Borough
STEPPING DOWN: Martin Westcott (right) has stepped down as manager at Haverhill Borough
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A 29-year-old has been announced as the new first team manager at Haverhill Borough, following Martin Westcott’s sudden decision to stand down.

Assistant manager Anthony Choat has stepped up for the New Croft side after being offered the position and will take the reins immediately.

He will become one of the youngest managers in the non-league pyramid but isn’t completely fresh-faced, having taken on the role of assistant manager for the majority of last season.

He said: “It was a surprise to be given the chance, but I’m very excited.

“I learned a lot from Martin as his assistant, and just watching generally.

“It’s happened faster than I expected but it’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to get going.”

Prior to this, Choat had been extremely successful combining a player-manager role with the Haverhill Borough Reserves.

He was assisted by Cody Frazier, who will also move into the first team dugout as first team head coach.

The change at the top has come about due to Westcott feeling he is unable to dedicate the time he needs to the manager’s role to perform it effectively.

But he is expected to retain a position in the first team squad for the new season.

Choat has taken the top spot as the club undergoes a number of changes, including promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, just six years after the club came together.

Club chairman Dave Hardwick said: “We have every confidence in him.

“It’s a decision we didn’t make lightly, and one we didn’t want to make, but we understand why Martin stood down and we were more than happy to have Anthony ready to step up.

“It’s going to be a steep learning curve for him but that’s true of the whole club really.

“It’s our first taste of this league and we’re all in it together really.

“And Anthony is young but age isn’t a barrier, it just means he has more time.

“The feeling among the committee was that we wanted continuity, while also recognising the role Anthony had in our promotion last season, and we just felt he deserved his chance.

“We’re all excited for what the new season will bring.”

He added that the club were extremely grateful to Westcott for his time at the helm.

Gary Brown echoed the sentiment, as he said: “The club owes a huge debt of thanks to Martin.

“He provided us with our first silverware at the end of the 2016 season, after beating Stowmarket in the first division knockout cup and then topped this with our promotion into the Thurlow Nunn Premier League last season.

“We are all extremely indebted to Martin for his hard work and effort over the past two-and-a-half years.

“He has worked hard to ensure that the club survived some very tricky times and has the opportunity to push on as a player.”

“Anthony is Martin’s obvious replacement, he is a natural manager, and as a club we have always believed that promotion from within is the way.

“He and Cody are aware of the ethos and expectations and we are sure they will be a great success.

“Martin has been a great ambassador for the club and intends to remain with us as a player for the forthcoming season.”