Luke Hillyard turns down Wanderers job offer and stays at Achilles but retains his ambition

Luke, left and brother Liam Hillyard lift the Suffolk Senior Cup for Achilles last season. Luke has

Luke, left and brother Liam Hillyard lift the Suffolk Senior Cup for Achilles last season. Luke has had to turn down the chance to manage Ipswich Wanderers. - Credit: Archant

Luke Hillyard admits to being ‘disappointed’ having to turn down the Ipswich Wanderers managerial job, but he feels he has made the right decision.

The 31-year-old Achilles boss was offered the post last week and initially accepted.

However, after a weekend of thought and with a host of personal engagements coming up, including a house moving and a holiday, Hillyard felt the time was not right for him to move up the managerial pyramid right now.

Thurlow Nunn Premier side Wanderers had already announced he had accepted the job.

“I’m disappointed I could not take the job, but I know it is the right decision for me at this moment in time,” Hillyard said.

“This was a great opportunity for me and after a meeting last week I got the call to say I had the job.

“I felt at the time it was an offer I just could not turn down.

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“But it suddenly dawned on me what I’ve got coming up in the next month or two on the personal front and you need to give a job like that with a club like Wanderers your 100% commitment.

“I felt I was only going to be able to give it 60% from the start. That wasn’t going to be good enough.

“But I’m ambitious to step up the pyramid in management, I really am.

“The timing was just not right in the end this time round and it’s a shame.”

Hillyard stopped playing at 27 when a dislocated shoulder caused continual problems for him,

But he has taken to managerial life in the Suffolk & Ipswich League well, leading Ipswich Athletic to success and now Achilles, the current Suffolk Senior Cup holders.

He will return as Achilles boss, having left the post last week.

“I just want to thank both Wanderers and Achilles for their understanding with all this,” he said.

“Both clubs have been first class about it, both chairman Keith Lloyd at Wanderers and Dave Morgan at Achilles have been brilliant in understanding.

“I’ve had great success with both Athletic and Achilles, five trophies in three seasons.

“Winning the Suffolk Senior Cup with Achilles last year was obviously great.”

Ironically it’s the first round of the Suffolk Senior Cup this Saturday, with holders Achilles at home to Thurlow Nunn First Division Framlingham, at Salmet Close, Ipswich.

Neither side have lost a league game so far this season. Wanderers travel to Hadleigh on Friday night in a league clash.

Meanwhile Wanderers secretary Paul Crickmore said: “Obviously we are disappointed Luke has not taken the job and it’s back to the drawing board.

“Applications for the job are still very much open.”

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