EX-SAINTS midfielder Tommy Widdrington has left non-League Eastbourne Borough to take up a new role with SkyBet League One basement boys and Checkatrade Trophy winners Coventry City.

The 45-year-old, who had been in charge of the National League South club since 2012, has been appointed Sky Blues’ head of recruitment.

Widdrington, who has left Borough in a comfortable mid-table position, said: “I had to make a choice quickly. You can’t choose the timing, but I have done it all correctly and we part on good terms."

Born in Newcastle, Widdrington racked up over 300 professional appearances with Southampton, Wigan, Grimsby, Port Vale and Macclesfield.

He moved back to the south to play for and manage Salisbury City and has also been manager of Hemel Hempstead Town and assistant to Paul Sturrock at Southend United.

Coventry chairman Tim Fisher explained: “We’ve bought Tommy in to be the cornerstone of a new recruitment process.

"As a club, we have identified player recruitment as a weakness, and want to put a robust structure in place to ensure we address this shortfall.

“Tommy brings a healthy amount of knowledge and experience and will be leading a team of scouts to ensure we source players who are right for this football club.”

Wishing Widdrington all the best, Eastbourne chairman John Bonar said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Tommy over the past few years. He has always been the consummate professional.

“When I first took over as football chairman, Tommy was described to me as a ‘Marmite’ type of person. All I can say is that I suppose I must like Marmite and I wish him well with his new opportunity.”

Coach Hugo Langton is overseeing Eastbourne's first-team affairs for the final month of the season and a decision on the next manager will be made over the summer.