Ottery boss Watkins resigns

OTtery St Mary FC manager Mark Watkins, 47, resigned his post on Thursday morning.

OTtery St Mary FC manager Mark Watkins, 47, resigned his post on Thursday morning.

His resignation came hot on the heels of Wednesday night's humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of fellow Peninsula League East basement dwellers Okehampton.

He said: "I was under no illusion that the job was going to be easy. I have worked hard and done a hell of a lot on my own to try and get the side back on its feet.

"But, during Wednesday night's match, I was hating every minute, and afterwards realised that there was nowhere to go after that.

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"I have no problem with anyone at the club and I wish them well, but I am going to take a bit of time out. I reckon I have been at a football match at least every Saturday for 34 years!"

Ottery chairman Greg Layzell said: "I would like to thank Mark for all the work he has done, especially during the summer.

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"We are talking to a couple of prospective managers who have been in touch already and we have to move quickly. I would hope to get someone in place for Saturday's match.

Watkins had a long chat with Greg Layzell after Wednesday's match and again on Thursday morning when he decided to resign.

Watkins added: "We have had a tough start to the season and I know we lost four matches in a row, but they were against four of the strongest sides. On Wednesday night we had a side which was, like us, on the bottom of the table.

"But, even so, it was just so difficult to get a side together. I managed to call on favours from Jack Andrews from Elmore, Elliott Dyer from Feniton and Mike Knight, from Millwey to boost the side, but we had no-one left on the bench."

Okes took the lead and it wasn't long before Matt Preece levelled and things were looking good.

But defensive errors saw the Okes add a goal that was hotly challenged for offside, and another late in the half, having pinched possession.

After the break, Ottery had a good spell and forced several good saves but they were also relying on last ditch tackles to keep the Okes out.

They conceded a goal on 20 minutes and then two more late on for a 6-1 defeat.

Watkins said: "When I left the pitch I had not one idea what to do about it. Apart from Preece's goal, I spent 90 minutes wondering why I was there and I could only see having around four or so players available for Saturday's match.

"There are a lot of young players at Ottery and they are good individually but, as a team, they cannot wear down the opposition.

"If Ottery could pay players it would be no problem putting out a side, but it doesn't work out in the end, as players just move to whoever is paying and there is no club loyalty.

"What you have to remember is that it costs �90 a match just to pay the officials. If people pay players say �50 a game, you are talking about a bill of around �40,000 for the season and where on earth is that sort of money coming from?

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