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Stowmarket Town manager Paul Musgrove opts against being reunited with Rick Andrews at AFC Sudbury

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Suffolk News can reveal that Stowmarket Town manager Paul Musgrove has turned down the opportunity of a reunion with Rick Andrews at AFC Sudbury.

The pair enjoyed a successful working relationship at Stowmarket, where Musgrove came in as the assistant to Andrews in the summer of 2017.

Musgrove went on to take over as boss when Andrews departed the club three years later, and he has gone on to oversee a largely positive first ever campaign at Step 4 for the Old Gold & Blacks.

Rick Andrews (left) and Paul Musgrove (right) had a successful stint together at Stowmarket Town. Picture: Mecha Morton
Rick Andrews (left) and Paul Musgrove (right) had a successful stint together at Stowmarket Town. Picture: Mecha Morton

Andrews, meanwhile, is at the helm of fellow Pitching In Isthmian League North Division outfit Sudbury – a role he took 12 months ago alongside Angelo Harrop.

However, following Harrop’s departure to National League South side Braintree Town at the weekend, it can be revealed that Andrews approached Musgrove about the possibility of renewing their partnership – this time as joint managers.

“I declined the opportunity,” said Musgrove. “I got on well with Rick and the coaching staff and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

“However, I also have a lot of respect for everyone at Stowmarket. Neil Sharp and Tom Morley put their faith in me to move things forward. This will continue to happen.

“Sudbury is obviously a good, attractive club and one I respect hugely. Their history is huge in local football, but the timing just wasn’t correct for me.

“There is not a lot of loyalty in football, and I base myself on that. This will be my sixth season at Stowmarket and one we intend to build on.

“We had a good year at Stowmarket and made some decent progress – it would not make sense to leave that, especially because I’m enjoying working alongside Wilks (Richard Wilkins, assistant) as well as the management team.”

Rather than contemplating jumping ship, Musgrove has instead been focused on ensuring he has a squad capable of mounting another promotion push next term after recently losing out in the play-off semi-finals.

Incomings are planned, but he does not anticipate wholesale changes.

“We’re ticking along,” he added. “A lot of it so far has been about retaining the lads we’ve got because they’ve done really well for us.

“We don’t need to make big changes because the players already at the club are of an excellent standard and are winners. We only need to make two or three additions.”