Paul Maxwell explains his decision to quit Ashfield manager
The humility that has distinguished Paul Maxwell throughout his playing career was evident again when he spoke yesterday about his decision to step down as Ashfield manager at the end of this season.
In truth however, there was never the slightest chance that he would go unnoticed after announcing his intention to end a 15 year association with the famous old Glasgow outfit … and not just because he is 6 feet tall. and more in his low feet and near 13 stone.
Son Saracen Park is also not playing the expense of a mind to let it “go quietly” judging by the 6-0 hammering of Carluke Rovers last Saturday, thanks to goals from Sean Doherty (2), David Raffery, Darren McGuire, Ryan McManus (pen) and Colin Leverage, which followed the previous weekend’s resounding 6-2 victory over the University of Glasgow.
Those impressive back-to-back wins lifted Ashfield to eighth place in the Conference’s Division B standings and also fueled hopes of snagging the one remaining promotion spot that Maxi passionately insists on is still up for grabs (he believes Cambuslang Rangers, St Cadocs and Gartcairn are shoo -ins for the others).
The 37-year-old scoffed: “If I had thought that the news of my departure would inspire the players to deliver such exceptional performances, I would have told them weeks ago.
“Seriously, my connection with the club is not so much ending as it is taking a different direction due to my recent appointment as general manager of Ashfield Academy.
“There are key business and community projects on the horizon, in particular our plans to secure an asset transfer or lease new land offered at Chirnsyde in the nearby town of Milton, which requires nothing less. that 100% commitment and focus, which meant something had to give and I felt my removal from my duties as a footballer was in Ashfield’s best interest in the long run.
“My affiliation with the club and its people, including my coaches Ryan Cairley and Ryan Dakhill as well as our chairman Tam Robertson, the man who gave me the opportunity to come here, is well documented and they know how hard it is. It was difficult for me to leave at this point.
“I’m so proud to have been given the opportunity to manage Ashfield but now is the time for the club to bring some freshness to the dressing room as I strive in my new role behind the scenes to help the club to take on a new dimension. and foundations for moving towards bigger and better things.
Maxi can claim three separate stints with the Possil side, initially joining Royal Albert in 2004 before his displays gained a brief stage upstairs in Dumbarton before returning to play a major role in the highly successful Stevie Rankin side-led 2011 and 2012. .
He followed Rankin to Irvine Meadow but was back at Saracen in 2017, first as a player / coach under Robert Docherty before taking the reins in his place for the past four years.
Maxi admitted “My time in charge has been mixed but never less than very enjoyable and I hope to use my experience in all things Ashfield to help our club managers choose my successor.
“The publicity for the job resulted in a very impressive list of candidates, but the hard part now comes in identifying the right person for the job. ”
Elsewhere, the draw for the fourth round of the South Challenge Cup (which will be played on February 5) has kicked off a series of intriguing contests, including the Premier League against Auchinleck Talbot against Irvine Meadow and Clydebank against Pollok, but a clear contender. For equal round status is undefeated Arthurlie hosting a visit from Lowland League leaders Bonnyrigg Rose.
The full draw
Sauchie vs. Troon
Spartans vs. Syngenta
University of Stirling v Hurlford United
Beith vs. Bo’ness Utd
Linlithgow Rose vs. Blantyre Vics
Public Service Strollers v Jeanfield Swifts
Renfrew vs. Bo’ness Athletic
Cumbernauld Utd v Petershill
Arthurlie vs. Bonnyrigg Rose
Caledonian Braves vs. Drumchapel Utd
Vale of Leven vs. Thorniewood Utd
Clydebank vs. Pollok
Maybole vs. Darvel / Rangers Cambuslang
Dundonald Bluebell vs. Tranent
Irvine Meadow vs. Auchinleck Talbot
Cumbernauld Colts vs. East Kilbride