Ottery manager speaks about his departure from the club

PUBLISHED: 20:51 15 January 2020

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1503. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1503. Picture: Terry Ife


Ottery St Mary have parted company with manager Dave Fairweather.

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6101. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6101. Picture: Terry Ife

he Otters released a statement that reads: 'It is with regret that Ottery St Mary AFC announces the resignation of first team manager, David Fairweather. We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Dave for the significant contribution he has made to the club, both on and off the field. During his five year tenure as first team manager, Dave has worked tirelessly to initially maintain, and then improve all football related activities at the club. This effort provided the platform from which the club secured step seven football in last year's restructure of the league system along with being instrumental in building the men's section incorporating a development team as well as an U18s team. His focussed dedication to the club is now part of the clubs rich history and we will be forever grateful for his contribution.

The clubs recruitment process will be announced shortly.'

Speaking after the statement had been released the now former Otters boss said: "It's the right time for all concerned. Am I disappointed? You bet I am. I have put a lot into the job of managing my home town club over the past seven years and I have honestly enjoyed every single minute, yes, even the bad along with the good."

Ottery fc. Ref shsp 38 17TI 0892. Picture: Terry IfeOttery fc. Ref shsp 38 17TI 0892. Picture: Terry Ife

He continued: "This season has been a challenge, but I have never been one to shirk a challenge and I think footballing challenges are healthy in as much as they become a problem that you need to find an answer to."

Speaking more intently about the current season, Fairweather says: "I was totally committed to the opportunity that presented itself prior to this season getting underway to take the team up into the higher level. Yes, it was quite a jump but a look at the club tells you all you nee dot know about the sort of level that the Otters can indeed compete at.

"This season was always going to be a challenge in as much as it was new for the players and new for the management. There are some tidy teams playing in the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League, but we had started to find our feet as the recent results seem to suggest.

"We recruited well before Christmas and it was very clear how much extra quality the new lads brought us. The one thing I am very confident about as I depart is that I am leaving the club in a far better state than it was when I got involved.

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1506. Picture: Terry IfeOttery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1506. Picture: Terry Ife

"Over my time at the club we have lost a first team, had a second team, then lost the second team before again running two sides and now this year we have the two senior teams - one a Development XI and the other an Under-18 side and everything is in place at Washbrook Meadow for the club to enjoy a promising future."

Fairweather then spoke with real passion about how he arrived at the decision to depart. He says: "It was certainly something I though long and vey hard about. It's a huge wrench leaving something I had so much passion for. But equally in going now I am so mindful that I don't want the players to be left feeling I have jumped ship and 'left them to it'. I go with my head held high wishing all the players and the club the very best for the immediate and the long term future."

The final match with Fairweather in charge was last Saturday's Devon League home meeting with a Waldon Athletic side who departed Washbrook Meadow with the points after a 3-2 success, this just seven days after the teams had met in South Devon with Ottery winning 5-2 with one of the recent new players in - Connor Swingler - netting a hat-trick.

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry Ife

Speaking about what is now his final game in charge, Fairweather says: "Hand on heart, they [Waldon] deserved to win. For our part we had too many players who were not at it. I cannot say that about our two centre backs for James Gosney and Dan Jewell were excellent and had the other lads been at even two thirds of the centre backs in terms of performance and energy then we'd have bagged the win."

He continued: "They [Waldon] certainly had improved their attitude from the one we faced seven days before and it was just our luck that we faced a team playing for a 'different manager' for the first time as I understand the previous chap left on the morning of the game! Clearly they were working very hard for the guy in charge on the day and they got their just rewards, but we were our own worst enemies and had a bad day in general and that's why the points were lost."

The former Otters boss then added: "As a coach its never 'all about results'. The greater emphasis has to be on performance and that was always my thinking. I am also a great believer that a coach has to have the respect of the players as that is fundamental to the good wellbeing in any club. I am very much a 'players manager' in as much as I like the players to know I respect them and value them. Young footballers want to feel valued and that's something I am very mindful of."

So what next for a knowledgeable coach who will surely be an 'ideal fit' for a club in the future.

He says: "As I have said, I am not the sort of person who leaves somewhere today and starts afresh somewhere else the very next day! Quite the opposite as I have so much respect for Ottery St Mary Football Club and the players and I know how I'd feel as a player if my manager announced he was off - and gutted to be off - but then started working somewhere else within days! That will not happen in this case. What I will say is that its going to be good to get to spend more time with my family for the immediate future, but I am not going to be lost to football. I feel I still have plenty to give the game and I look forward to whatever the next project is and will throw myself into it as and when that challenge presents itself."

There's more on the Ottery managers departure in this week's Sidmouth Herald which is out on Friday (January 17).

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