thrupieceorganisation sponsored Abbotsbury AFC have parted company with Manager and Director of Football Arsene Below-Pardue after only 1,524 games in charge. Currently bottom in the Hornimint Dorset Football League and headed for almost certain relegation, the "Monks" lost yet another game last night, going down 0-5 to 3rd from bottom Fiddelford Rovers.
Sporting Director and Board Chairman Trevor Maine-Stande told The Abbotsbury Chronicle that he was no longer confident that Below-Pardue could turn the struggling club's fortunes around ahead of the January transfer window. It is believed that Below-Pardue had pleaded with the Board for more time and a £200 war chest with which to buy 11 new players but insiders believe patience with the 84 year old had run thin. Whilst acknowledging that 4 of the 5 penalties had been "unlucky" and that the tactical substitution of goalkeeper Stan Leaky for striker Dave Shotless when the "Monks" were a goal down was a "brave mistake", Maine-Stande was clear that the expansive style favoured by Below-Pardue was now too risky to guarantee Abbotsbury would avoid the drop.
Maine-Stande later assured fans that the search for a replacement of "real stature" was now on and that "anyone favouring a flat back four with an ability to park the bus and enough cash to pay for the laundry" was under active consideration. "We will move quickly but carefully", he added. "We need to find the right man for the job; one capable of getting the best out of the current squad and with clear ideas where we can add quality". Pressed as to where he felt the team needed most strengthening, Maine-Stande responded: "mainly in defence, midfield and up front but in other areas as well, including coaching, medical staff, fitness & conditioning, management, administration and catering". He acknowledged that half time meat pies had been underperforming since the start of the season and that the Bovril was "rubbish" compared to last season.
Bookmakers Dorset Casino are laying odds of 2 to 1 on former Melplash Academicals' coach and Scottish football legend Canny Fowl nabbing the vacant post. "He knows how to get a result in a game of two halves and will bring long ball subtlety and robust two-foot challenges back into the beautiful game."
Abbotsbury's next game at the Viking Threadbone Cruiseline Staudium sees the "Monks" up against current leaders Broadmayne Albion on New Year's Eve. Long time supporters and touchline stalwarts Sid and Freda Rout were "not hopeful".
Abbotsbury AFC after defeat to Fiddleford Rovers. Below: Happier times, the 2014 squad take a bath after their AJTCorps Cup Final victory over Nottington United