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2016/17 season


Moran Steps Aside as Valley Target Bounce Back
Thursday, 11th May 2017
Last Updated 11.15am

The hunt is on for a new man at the helm of Rugby Town FC following the resignation of Valley boss Gary Moran last Wednesday evening.

He stepped down at the end of season which saw the club relegated out of the NPL South Division – ending a 34-year stay in the higher echelons of the non-league football pyramid.

Moran had re-joined his hometown club for a third playing spell in September 2016, but within days the then-manager James Jepson quit which saw the defender initially assume the hot seat on a caretaker basis before his formal permanent appointment shortly after.

In total, the departing boss oversaw 37 league games, but his side struggled to string a significant run of positive results together throughout his tenure - spending the entirety of it in the bottom three of the table.

A particularly disappointing end to the campaign saw Town take just one point from their final four matches to hand a resurgent Loughborough the chance to leapfrog them to safety.

Moran explained the reasons behind his decision: “It was becoming increasingly tough trying to manage my very busy work commitments alongside the demanding requirements of being a non-league football manager, and something had to give in the end.

“There were no issues with the club or the players, and the fans have been great too but I just felt it was right thing for my life at the moment to step aside.

“I’m hoping to be able to continue to continue playing somewhere – maybe even for Rugby depending on who the new manager is and how he feels about that, but I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity.

“It’s very sad how things ended up in terms of where we finished, but the squad worked hard for me throughout and arguably didn't get the rewards that their efforts deserved.”

Moran’s successor will be the fifth incumbent of the Valley hot-seat in just over two years after Dave Stringer left the club after a four season spell in charge at the beginning of May 2015.

Stringer was replaced by rookie boss Gary Mills – who lasted only a few weeks into the new season, with Dale Belford then seeing out the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign.

Rugby returned to the rookie route with the appointment of Jepson last summer, but again the tenure was short-lived before Moran took over with the experienced Martin Sockett assuming the role of Head Coach alongside him.

Town Director Neil Melvin recognised Moran’s contributions and also confirmed that a number of applications have already been received for the vacant position.

He said: "Last season was clearly a very difficult and ultimately desperately disappointing one for everyone involved with the club.

"The Board would like to place on record our thanks to Gary for taking the reins at a particularly tricky juncture back in September and seeing the job through.

"We will now be seeking a suitable successor with the primary objective of restoring non-league step 4 football to Butlin Road at the earliest opportunity."


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