AFC Sudbury appoint Stowmarket Town promotion winner Rick Andrews and former Stanway Rovers boss Angelo Harrop as joint managers
A new era is under way at AFC Sudbury with the Isthmian League North Division club unveiling former Stowmarket Town promotion winner Rick Andrews and Stanway Rovers chief Angelo Harrop as their new joint managers.
It comes one week after Mark Morsley exclusively revealed his resignation to Suffolk News stating 'irreconcilable differences' in the way the club was being run.
For Andrews, he is making his return to the dugout after leaving Stowmarket in November last year due to 'personal circumstances'.
He departed having managed 336 games since his arrival at Greens Meadow in March 2013, topped by guiding them to their first-ever promotion after winning the Thurlow Nunn League First Division title in 2017. It was Stow’s first league title in 66 years.
The then 55-year-old also left having overseen what looked set to be a second title and promotion to Step 4. The Old Gold & Blacks were well clear at the top of the Premier Division table in mid-March before the Covid-19 curtailment saw it wiped from the record books.
Harrop, who had a spell as a player with AFC Sudbury before starting out in management with Stanway Rovers in October 2013, was part of Andrews' Stowmarket midfield for their first season at Step 5 in 2017/18.
We were looking for someone to put a smile back on people's faces and be a unifying character across all levels and aspects of the club. And these two came across as exactly what we were all looking for - Andrew Long, AFC Sudbury chairman
The owner of independent Essex-based school sports provider Sports Coaching Specialists Ltd has also been using his knowledge in the game to scout for Ipswich Town.
Former Colchester United youth player Harrop also had spells with Leiston and Needham Market and stepped down as director of football at Stanway in May last year. He was also the first head coach of Norwich City's centre of excellence in Brantham following a playing spell there.
Sudbury chairman Andrew Long said he was delighted to put the pair in charge of the club's first team.
"We had 28 good applications which says something about the club which made the process difficult," he said.
"To summarise it we were looking for someone to put a smile back on people's faces and be a unifying character across all levels and aspects of the club. And these two came across as exactly what we were all looking for.
"Whilst we had some very nice applications and ones we were very pleased to receive, they were quite frankly head and shoulders above most of the other applicants in terms of what they hope to bring to the club; in terms of experience, personality and drive.
"Rick has been out of the game for a little while due to his mum's terminal illness but he was very keen to get back into the game and brings with him a wealth of experience and a track record of success at Stowmarket.
"They were both exactly what we were looking for, in terms of the complementary skills that they bring to the football club."
He added: "We were quite frankly delighted they were willing to take us on as a project of several years to take us to where we want to be."
Long said both parties were happier not to have a formal contract but rather had a gentleman's agreement for the project, which was not necessarily defined by promotion, to be seen through.
After being unveiled at the MEL Group Stadium at King's Marsh today, Andrews and Harrop are set to meet the players on Thursday evening when they return for pre-season training.