Diaper to call it a day after Wembley final

Dave Diaper

Dave Diaper

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Non-league football reporter

WEMBLEY-bound Sholing boss Dave Diaper doesn’t want to give up managing.

But for the good of the club – not to mention his own well-being – he believes it is the right thing to do.

With Southern League football beckoning again for the newly-crowned Sydenhams Premier Division champions, Diaper says he would have “ended up in a box” if he were to continue juggling the roles of team boss and chairman.

“Myself and assistant Mick Brown, who I’ve been with for many years, will be stepping down after the FA Vase final,” Diaper confirmed.

“I would have liked to have carried on managing, but now we’ve made the decision to go back into the Southern One South & West, I can’t devote my time to fund-raising for Sholing while managing the team as well.

“I’m a co-director for BSA Regal and my business has really suffered over the last four to six weeks and I need time to get that back on track.

“I also need time to make sure we get the finances in place to sustain Sholing as a Southern League club, otherwise we might be yo-yoing back and forth between the Southern and Wessex leagues and I don’t want that.

“The Vase run has been great but, in another way, it’s been horrendously stressful.

“I’m lucky to have had people around to protect me as much as they can – my wife Helen, co-director Dave Bennett, vice-chairman Gerry Roberts, Helen Brewster, Ian Jarvis, Greg Dickson etc – but it’s still been a lot of work and if I’d continued what I’d been doing I would have ended up in a box.

“If I was selfish, I’d carry on managing, but I want to try and maintain the development of the club.

“It’s not as if I’ll be leaving. We’ll name our new manager(s) after the Vase final and I’ll be staying on as chairman and director of football.

“I still want to associate with the football side of things, but it’ll be an advisory rather than hands-on role.”

With a grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund now confirmed, the Boatmen are on their way to getting a new clubhouse at their Portsmouth Road home.

Other ground improvements, including a 3G pitch, are set to follow.

More from Sholing boss Dave Diaper in tomorrow’s Daily Echo.

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