Perfect way to go, says boss

Dave Diaper celebrates his team's win

Dave Diaper celebrates his team's win

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Writer

Dave Diaper confirmed he isn’t tempted to stay on as Sholing boss despite their Wembley win.

Instead, he believes it was the perfect way to bow out after 15 years as the club’s manager, writes ADAM LEITCH.

Diaper and several of his senior players are to call a halt to their careers following the 1-0 win over West Auckland at Wembley.

The BSA Regal chief will be staying on as chairman and director of football at the club, but still feels it is the right time for somebody else to take charge as manager as he prepares the club off the field for a return to the Southern League.

“I told everybody a week ago,” he said of his decision to step aside.

“Obviously they were a little bit surprised but I said it’s important you don’t yo-yo up and down the league.

“I’ve come under criticism for dropping out the league just to win the league and the FA Vase. “Well, as you saw, there is no way that could happen because I’m not clever enough to think of that.”

Diaper added: “At the end of the day there’s only so many hats you can wear.

“I am a great believer in leading by example and I do put the hours into the football club.

“In life it doesn’t matter what business you are in, if you put the hard work in sometimes you get the just rewards.”

Diaper’s son Marc is among those who are retiring after the Wembley final, but the boss is not downbeat about the situation.

“My son will be hanging his boots up and probably two or three others as well,” he reported. “It’s a transitional period of the club. Rather than the end of an era we need to view it as the start of a new era.

“That’s important because no person is bigger than the club.

“Everything you need to do in football you need to plan.

“We’ve had a five year plan and that has now ended and a new three-year plan is about to begin.”

The Wembley win was the perfect swansong for Diaper.

“The last ten minutes put me through a different range of emotions, but I was very pleased for the lads,” he said.

“I’ve been at the club now for 15 years and everything we do is based on a good work ethic.

“This group of players which I’ve got together only lost four league games all season and never know when they’re beat.

“You can see the camaraderie out there. They say ‘band of brothers’ and it is that – it’s a close knit family.

“It was really fitting on my last day in charge as well. “I couldn’t wish for a better ending, so happy days.”

Sholing showed off the Vase at St Mary’s before Saints’ draw with Manchester United yesterday, and this afternoon are given a Civic Reception by Southampton Mayor Ivan White.

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