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Haverhill Borough appoint Haverhill Rovers Under-18 boss Harry Zachariou as first-team manager in wake of Rhys Shulver’s departure from The New Croft





Haverhill Borough have appointed Rovers Under-18s boss Harry Zachariou as their new first-team head coach after Rhys Shulver stepped down from his role as player-manager at The New Croft.

The former Cambridge United academy coach was installed as Borough boss in April 2023 and his side finished second from bottom in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North last campaign.

However, no teams were relegated from the league, with bottom-of-the-table Needham Market Under-23s surviving one a points-per-game basis and Borough receiving an automatic reprieve from the drop.

Rhys Shulver will be replaced by Harry Zachariou for the upcoming season. Picture: Mecha Morton
Rhys Shulver will be replaced by Harry Zachariou for the upcoming season. Picture: Mecha Morton

Shulver has departed the club because of work commitments – that he is juggling alongside a masters degree – and facilities and football development manager at The New Croft, Peter Betts, stated he ‘certainly was not sacked’.

“Rhys obviously did a really good job last year, keeping things afloat and giving young players opportunities, which is obviously the remit, in reality, for Haverhill Borough,” said Betts.

“Conversations have been ongoing because he always puts the football club before others. He voiced bits across the season in terms of the work commitments that he had.

Rhys Shulver’s Haverhill Borough finished second from bottom in the table last season. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Rhys Shulver’s Haverhill Borough finished second from bottom in the table last season. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“He’s made that decision. Most coaches that look after their workload probably would have just walked away in February and left the football club to deal with the aftermath.

“But he committed his time and efforts until the final game of the season and made sure that the club stayed in the league. From a club perspective, we can’t thank Rhys enough for what he’s done.

“The committee had a discussion around the direction of the football club, Rhys has got loads on in terms of his work commitments and other things he devotes in terms of his own personal time to football.”

His successor, Zachariou, comes with a strong pedigree at The New Croft. He has been in charge of the powerhouse of an Under-16s side that lifted the Veo Under-18s Midweek Cup earlier this month – a competition where they were playing against teams with players two years above them.

Haverhill Borough boss Rhys Shulver has stepped down from his role at the club. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Haverhill Borough boss Rhys Shulver has stepped down from his role at the club. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Zachariou’s outfit also wrapped up the Eastern Junior Alliance Under-16 Blue Division for the fourth consecutive season and are looking to a treble when they face Aveley in the Eastern Junior Alliance’s Litho Midweek Cup Final on Friday (7.30pm).

The hope is that Zachariou’s appointment will build a pathway for his young players to play first-team football next season. Shulver may join the new coaching staff set-up at Borough if he can balance the role with his other commitments.