West Wratting manager Michael Bavester to step down at the end of the season
Michael Bavester will hold fond memories of his 34-year stint in senior football, as the West Wratting manager has announced he is to step down at the end of the season, writes Alex Moss.
The 49-year-old made his debut for Haverhill Rovers as a teenager, and was part of the 1996/97 Suffolk Senior Cup-winning squad, and has also enjoyed success as a manager, guiding Wratting to their first Kershaw Premier title in 2017/18.
But the Wratting boss, who had spells as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach with Rovers, will be leaving the club later this month, due to a change in work commitments.
“The plan for me was to carry on next season and then finish at the end of next season,” Bavester said.
“It would have made it 35 years for me in senior football. But my next job means I needed to step down.
“I’m not going to be about much in June, July and August, and the club need to have a really good pre-season if they are to have an ambition to win the league again.
“After we won the league last season, we had a mass exodus of players. I don’t want something like that to happen again, so I’ve decided to step down at the end of this season.
“It was a tough decision to step away. Wratting is a fantastic club, with some unbelievable people there.
“Winning the league last season, from a managerial point of view, I’ll never forget, as winning leagues doesn’t happen very often.
“To have played in a Vase final, with Tiptree (in 2001/02) was very special, as was winning the Suffolk Senior Cup with Haverhill at Portman Road, in a game that we were the underdogs in.
“I made my debut for Haverhill Rovers in the 1985/86 season and have been lucky enough to have played for them in four different decades, in the ‘80s, ‘90s, in the 2000s and one game in 2015.
“I had a few spells at Haverhill and played for Halstead, Tiptree and Sudbury as well.
“I’m lucky to have met so many great people on the way, I’ve made some great friends and have lots of memories to look back on.”
Last Saturday, Danny Hill scored his 16th goal of the season as Wratting bounced back to winning ways in the Kershaw Premier.
A 2-1 win away at Bar Hill helped preserve Wratting’s fourth-place position in the table, as they now head into a three-week break before playing their final game of the season.
Mitchell Burr was also on target, netting his sixth goal of the campaign, to help Wratting end a three-game run without a victory, having recently lost to Great Shelford and Cambridge University Press, and drawn with Hemingfords United. Bavester’s final game in charge of Wratting will be a home clash with Eaton Socon on April 20.