Trojans have sacked their first team coach midway through the season following a revolt from several senior players.
Barry Bridgman said he was ‘gutted’ at the ‘soccer-style sacking’ and angry to receive the news in a telephone call as he was pondering his squad for this weekend’s game at Basingstoke.
Bridgman, pictured, said: “The chairman phoned me and told me it was because of poor results this year.
“I’m gutted and angry. I was asked to come to the club five years ago and we have done nothing but good and got promoted.
“I feel angry and let down. I even went there and coached on the evening my dad died. I just feel like ‘why did I bother’?”
“I got them from London 4 to London 1 and was told to go because of bad results.
“It is just like soccer – apart from I have not had a penny from them in that time, not even expenses.”
Trojans’ steady progress led them to become the leading team in the Southampton area when they were promoted to London 1 South under the guidance of Bridgman two seasons ago. That followed an earlier promotion up to London 2SW in 2008/9, the same season the club won the Hampshire Bowl.
But Trojans have struggled to field a settled first XV this term, with several players making themselves unavailable for first team selection.
They have lost 12 of their 13 league matches – the sole victory coming against basement side Old Colfeians in the middle of October.
Chairman Shaun Magill said many first team players were not happy with the way things were going and ‘started voting with their feet’.
He said: “Over the last few weeks I have been trying to think how I could keep Barry because I am a great fan of him and his coaching.
“But the players were not happy and started voting with their feet and unfortunately I had to ask Barry to step down – I had no alternative, it’s a great shame.
“I did not want to do it with a phone call but it had to be done before the weekend.
“I do not necessarily agree with what the players have done or how they have gone about it, but that’s done now.
“I still consider Barry as a mate and it was one of the worst moments of my rugby life to make that call. I had to make a decision because I am there to do what the players want me to do.”
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