New soccer boss for Hassocks

After 17 years managing Hassocks Football Club, Dave John is moving upstairs and handing over the reins to current reserve team boss Mickey Jewell.

A club statement issued this week read: ''Dave will become the club's first Director of Football. He explained to the club that the recent illness of his wife Ann, herself a familiar sight at the Beacon where her cakes are legendary, had prompted him to take the decision to stand down from a post that over the years has taken up an increasing amount of his time as the club progressed from intermediate football in Adastra Park to become a well regarded member of the Sussex County League First Division.

''Dave said that Ann's illness – thankfully she is now well down the road of recovery – had caused him to reprioritise his time and after a number of discussions with chairman Derek Hurley, he has agreed to take up the post of Director of Football where he will have overall responsibility for the continuing on-pitch development of the club but without the day to day management pressures.

Chairman Hurley said: ''The club fully understood Dave's decision and we were keen to see him utilise his considerable football experience. The development on the pitch during his reign has been considerable to match the exciting progress off it that recently culminated in the opening of the new clubhouse and the purchase of some 6.5 acres of adjoining land that will be developed for additional football purposes.

''Dave's new role will maximise his experience whilst freeing up more time for both him and Ann.

''The club felt that it was important to act quickly to get a replacement as 1st XI manager and I'm delighted to say that the post will be taken by Mickey Jewell. He will bring a wealth of experience to the position having managed with great success at both Lindfield and St Francis Rangers.

''While Mickey will officially take up his new role from the end of the season, we will take the opportunity this season for him to gradually work more with Dave so as to make the ultimate take-over as seamless as possible.

''Mickey confirmed to us that he is delighted with the opportunity, albeit tinged with sadness at the reason for the vacancy. He has enjoyed his two years at Hassocks and feels the future is bright for a club that prides itself on developing youngsters through the youth team and the three senior sides.

''He will be seeking to continue the successes of Dave John, with the target of giving the club the opportunity to move up the football pyramid system over the next few years.''

This story and more in this week's Mid Sussex Times.

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