Bedlington Terriers begin hunt for new manager after Skinner resignation

Ian Skinner, now first team coach at Ashington FC.
Ian Skinner, now first team coach at Ashington FC.

Bedlington Terriers are in search of a new manager after the shock resignation of Ian Skinner on Sunday night.

After six months in charge Skinner has enjoyed mixed fortunes at Welfare Park, with the side struggling for points over the past six games.

Although not the reason for his departure, Skinner left his managerial position to join England cricket’s two-time Ashes winner and newly appointed manager of Ashington Stephen Harmison working as his first team coach.

Skinner said: “The timing of my resignation is difficult with 14 games of the season remaining, and for that I apologise. However, the opportunity to return to my home town club Ashington, with two good friends of mine, Stephen Harmison and Lee Anderson, was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

“I would like to think I have helped the club move forward from where they were when I arrived at the start of the season, although there is work still to be done.

“I would like to thank everyone at the club for all their support throughout from the players to all the staff, committee and fans. I wish the club the very best of luck for the future.”

Bedlington chairman Ronan Liddane said: “His resignation came as a bit of a shock. It was Ian Skinner’s first season in charge and I thought it was going well.”

“I know our form has dipped a little bit recently, but I thought Ian was the man to pull us through it.

“I would like to thank Ian for all the work he has done for Bedlington Terrriers and wish him all the best for the future.”

John McDonald, who was Ian Skinner’s assistant, will be caretaker manager and Tony Burgess will be his assistant whilst a permanent replacement is sought.

McDonald is keen on making the position his own and said: “We are disappointed to see Ian go, but we wish him well at Ashington.

“I am delighted to get this opportunity and I am hoping myself and Tony can turn our fortune around.

Ronan Liddane, Keith Perry and Dave Perry will come together to decide who will be the next manager.

Anyone who wishes to apply for the post of first team manager should contact Ronan Liddane on 07850 268711.

Physio’s Anna Stokoe and Anthony Matthews will also be staying at the club.

Bedlington are currently 13th in the table and are six points above Ashington, but as of late they have been creeping down the league with results not going their way in recent weeks.

Skinner took over at the start of this season after long-time manager Keith Perry stood-down, six wins in his first ten games saw the Terriers get off to the best possible start, sitting comfortably in the top six.

His aim was to mix youth with experience to create a brand of football that was easy on the eye, as well as bringing the better times back to Welfare Park after the previous season’s disappointment.

Skinner’s biggest achievement came six weeks into the season when they won 3-1 away to rivals Ashington in the Wansbeck derby.

He won 14 of his 32 games in charge, giving him a win rate of 44 per cent.