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Linton Granta managers Dale Archer and Collin Morrice step down




Linton Granta are seeking a new management team to re-energise the club after stalwarts Dale Archer and Collin Morrice decided to relinquish their roles.

The pair stepped up to be player-managers last summer to keep together a side who had just missed out on a first Kershaw Premier Division title in seven years.

It came after Rod Gaffan had mistakenly been announced as departed boss Lee Miller’s successor on Twitter last May, with June’s AGM confirming Archer and Morrice’s appointments.

FOOTBALL.Linton Granta v Ely City Reserves player-boss Dale Archerand Collin Morrice Picture by Mark Westley. (35153081)
FOOTBALL.Linton Granta v Ely City Reserves player-boss Dale Archerand Collin Morrice Picture by Mark Westley. (35153081)

But after a difficult 2019/20 campaign, which saw Granta struggling towards the bottom of the table before the season was abandoned due to the Covid-19 outbreak in March, they have resigned.

Though Archer wishes to concentrate on playing again, issues with player commitment was the biggest factor for both not carrying on at the hlem.

Morrice, who had been the club’s goalkeeper for the past decade in a side which had won three straight titles culminating in the Kershaw Premier in 2011/2012, explained: “When we took over at the start of last season our intention was to keep everyone together.

Linton Granta Team and mug shots. ..Pictured; Collin Morrice. (35381792)
Linton Granta Team and mug shots. ..Pictured; Collin Morrice. (35381792)

“But as it was an ageing squad it was not really everyone’s first commitment on a Saturday.

“Players are starting families now and another year forward the commitment levels might drop off another stage.

“It was quite a struggle last season to get a full side out, though when we did we did quite well.”

The 30-year-old had to have a hip operation when he was 21 and said the effects of that have now forced him to hang up his gloves for good.

FOOTBALL.Linton Granta v Ely City Reserves player-boss Dale Archerand Collin Morrice Picture by Mark Westley. (35381789)
FOOTBALL.Linton Granta v Ely City Reserves player-boss Dale Archerand Collin Morrice Picture by Mark Westley. (35381789)

“I just want to enjoy my Saturdays now and possibly go and watch my mates play football, wherever they end up,” he said.

Archer, 31, who has played for the club since he was 15, said: “Me and Collin did not really want to take over but after Lee Miller left we basically did it to try and keep the lads together as we knew we had got a good team.

“But the commitment levels were not as good as we were hoping they would be.

“I still have time to manage (later on) but at the moment I do not want the hassle, I just want to play football.”

Linton Granta v Cambridge University Press - Dale Archer.Pic - Richard Marsham. (35372026)
Linton Granta v Cambridge University Press - Dale Archer.Pic - Richard Marsham. (35372026)

He added he was not able to say with any certainty who he would be playing for yet.

Chairman Robin Williams admitted it was a “concerning” picture but one they hope can be worked out before the 2020/21 season gets too close.

“With this shutdown a lot of them are saying this is probably it for them,” he said.

“There are a lot of discussions going on about what we do but we have got to get a manager before we worry about anything else.

“It is concerning but we are trying to work out ways around it and we are looking to the future positively.”

Anyone interested in the management vacancy is asked to email robinjwilliams1@gmail.com

* See next week’s Echo for a look back on the club’s double-winning campaign 10 years on


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