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Haverhill Rovers replace manager Fergus O'Callaghan with assistant boss James Bloomfield and ex-pro Leroy Lita




Haverhill Rovers have promoted James Bloomfield from assistant manager following the shock departure of Fergus O'Callaghan this week.

The former Walsham-le-Willows boss was appointed to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club's top job in May, lasting just four months in the role.

Bloomfield will oversee his first game in Tuesday's home visit from higher-league Needham Market in the second round of the Suffolk Premier Cup.

James Bloomfield (18841083)
James Bloomfield (18841083)

He will be assisted in the dugout by ex-professional player Leroy Lita – who has been coaching at the club – temporarily, with a further announcement due later this week.

Lita will take on a bigger coaching role and will also become first team coach.

Bloomfield, 26, said the decision for the manager to leave was made by 'mutual agreement' following Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Norwich United.

FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers v Swaffham Town..Pictured: Manager Fergus O'Callaghan...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (18833699)
FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers v Swaffham Town..Pictured: Manager Fergus O'Callaghan...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (18833699)

"It all happened after the game on Saturday," Bloomfield said. "There's no animosity and it was by mutual agreement.

"But the club, from what I've been told, received a seven-dayer for Fergus and he said he was interested in talking to them.

"So I think that was that; I was then made aware of what happened and was told the position was available if I wanted it.

"I've mainly been responsible for training, and I've had a big hand in recruitment and I think the club could see that.

Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Home Park, Plymouth...Coca-Cola Championship. 05.04.08..Plymouth versus Charlton (grey)...Final score: Plymouth 1 Charlton 2..Leroy Lita celebrates his second goal...Picture:Barry Goodwin. (18841736)
Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Home Park, Plymouth...Coca-Cola Championship. 05.04.08..Plymouth versus Charlton (grey)...Final score: Plymouth 1 Charlton 2..Leroy Lita celebrates his second goal...Picture:Barry Goodwin. (18841736)

"At my age, people will question if I'm ready – I'm sure there will be plenty of people with comments about that – but I just couldn't turn down such a brilliant opportunity.

"And I have been with the club a few months now, and they and the players know me, I can definitely help with the transition – a manager change is turbulent for a club, but hopefully it will be less so with me."

The former Bury Town Under-18s manager and Whitton United assistant does not have long to prepare for his first match.

"It's a cup game against a team two leagues higher," he said. "It's a bit of a free hit – obviously it won't be an easy game, but there's absolutely no pressure on us.

"We will give it a go but we're not expected to win, it can only be positive.

"I'm not nervous about my first game in charge, just excited really. I have managed before and I know the club and they know me.

"I'm ready to put my own stamp on it, stick my hand up and take on the responsibility."

It is the club's fourth managerial change in just over a season, with Marc Abbott, Stuart Wardley/Dario Semenerio and O'Callaghan all coming and going in a short space of time.

Chairman Ali Shulver said the club had had to react to a number of unexpected situations in recent seasons, but had complete faith in their new manager to take the team on.
He said: "He's done a lot of work since he came in, he recruited a lot of players and he's done so well, he deserved the chance.

"He's a young manager as well, and we see it as much about developing him in that role too.

"It would be unfair to have pushed him aside and brought someone else in, so we're giving him the chance.

"What we want to see is continuous improvement, we've not set any targets, we just want to keep getting better and I'm sure James will be able to help with that."

The Echo has been unable to reach O'Callaghan for further comment.

* Pick up a copy of Thursday's Haverhill Echo for the full story


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