Exclusive: ‘I quit at the right time’ - Whitton United manager

Paul Bugg

Paul Bugg - Credit: Archant

Paul Bugg believes he has quit his post as Whitton United manager ‘at the right time’.

Bugg departed last week, was not present at Saturday’s friendly at Needham Market, and a committee meeting was being held last night to discuss the way forward for the club.

His announcement was something of a surprise given the success he has enjoyed at the club since replacing current Hadleigh United manager Ian Brown in the hotseat in May 2012.

Under Bugg’s leadership, Whitton won a league and cup double in 2014, lifting the Thurlow Nunn League Division One title and the Suffolk Senior Cup, before running Conference North side Lowestoft Town extremely close in May’s Suffolk Premier Cup final, only being beaten after extra-time.

However, much of that successful squad has now left or is on the brink of leaving with Ethan Clarke and Miles Powell going to Felixstowe & Walton, Jordan Dye departing for Brantham and Allicion Blake leaving the area.

Jack and Sam Mead are also thought to be seeking pastures new, leaving the club’s new manager with a rebuilding job on their hands.

“There are some really good people at Whitton United who want to take it forward, the chairman, Mark Richards, has always backed me and whoever replaces me, I wish them every success,” Bugg said yesterday.

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“I think, at the moment, there is a difference of opinion and I am moving on at the right time.

“I have not left for another club but I do want to get back into football at the earliest opportunity.”

“It’s not about just taking any job though and if I don’t get back into football this season, I will probably retire. You can’t be out of football for too long and I will have a few weeks to recharge my batteries but I think my record over the last three seasons suggests that I could do a job at the next level.”

Bugg is likely to be in demand given his success at Whitton, Snell and himself consolidating the club’s position back in the Premier Division, just six years after United were forced to pull out of that league.

He has certainly received plenty of well-wishes since his exit.

“My phone has never stopped and I have had messages from managers that I wouldn’t really have expected to, or who I have not had many dealings with in the past,” revealed the former Brantham assistant manager.

“I came close to resigning in May but the chairman (Richards) talked me out of it.

“I gave it my best at the club but it does not feel right anymore.”

Despite a sad ending, Bugg has no regrets over his time at Whitton.

“It’s a great football club, I have enjoyed my time there and I am grateful to Ruel Fox (director of football) for giving me the opportunity,” he said.

“I think some good foundations have been laid at the club.”

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