Darran Foster has today resigned as manager of Daventry Town FC.
The club announced on its Twitter feed that the long-serving Foster had stood down, saying: “We regret to announce that Darran Foster has today resigned as Manager of Daventry Town FC. #PurpleArmy”
The club is going through a tough time financially, with chairman Iain Humphrey last month announcing he was severely cutting the playing budget.
That means that Foster has been powerless to stop the squad he built up over the past few seasons walk away player, by player.
He has also seen members of his backroom and coaching staff, such as Jamie Gould, leave.
It is less than a year since Daventry Town made it through to the first round of the FA Cup, where almost 800 fans travelled north to Derbyshire to see their heroes perform superbly in a 2-0 defeat to powerful Chesterfield side that would go on to win the Sky Bet League Two title.
Daventry were also season-long favourites for promotion from the Southern League Division One Central last term, but they stumbled at the final few hurdles as tiredness due to a hectic fixture schedule took hold, and they were knocked out of the promotion play-off at the semi-final stage by Kettering Town.
Already struggling to compete financially with some of the area’s wealthier clubs, and having seen key players such as Liam Dolman and Adam Confue depart, the budget cut just weeks into the new season meant Foster’s hands were tied as player after player quit for pastures new.
The club’s financial problems were due to be discussed at an extraordinary general meeting at Communications Park tonight (Thurs), but it was postponed due to an illness in the Humphrey family.
Former Daventry players were quick to take to Twitter with their thoughts on Foster’s resignation, with the support for their former manager universal.
Richard Morris, who played in goal at Chesterfield last November and was the regular number one at the club until a few weeks ago, said: “One of the nicest blokes in footy didn’t deserve any of what’s gone on to happen to him.”
Ex-Daventry striker Nat Liburd added: “Good luck to fozzy, he was a class act! A real shame what has happened here”, while Scott Cross, another former Daventry front man, added: “Not the best times for the club top man good luck @DarranDaz.”
Tom James, who left Daventry to sign for Tamworth in the summer, said: “Huge shame to see what’s going on at @DaventryTownFC.. A club that deserves nothing more than help to stay alive.. Football sucks sometimes!”
A successful former manager of both Ford Sports and Daventry United in the United Counties League, Foster took over from former Republic of Ireland international Mark Kinsella as Daventry Town manager early in 2012.
In his first full season in charge, Foster guided Town to an eighth-place finish in Division One Central, with the team pushing hard for a play-off place all season.
In 2013-14, Foster engineered a fourth-place finish in the league, but they had been so close to actually winning the title, but for that late lapse in form.
They ended up in a play-off semi-final at Kettering Town, and were narrowly beaten 1-0.
This season, with several players leaving in the summer, and more departing following the budget cut, Daventry find themselves in an unusually lowly 13th place with 20 points from 14 matches.
Their most recent fixture saw them lose 4-2 at Bedford Town on Tuesday night.
But there is little doubt that Foster’s, and Daventry’s, proudest hour came at Chesterfield in November last year when they pushed the Spireites so close in the FA Cup first round, in front of a crowd of 5,269.