Ex-Town boss dismisses quit rumours

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FORMER Hucknall Town manager Tommy Brookbanks has dismissed speculation that he is to walk away from his current job at Stamford.

But it is understood that his trusty sidekick, veteran coach Gary Stones, is to retire from football at the end of the season.

Brookbanks and Stones have endured a difficult time since quitting Town last October to switch to Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Division One South rivals, Stamford.

The Lincolnshire outfit have won only ten of their 28 league games since they took over and have dropped from third in the table to eighth, blowing their chances of a place in the promotion play-offs.

To rub salt into the wounds, Carlton Town, the club the duo bossed for many years before joining Hucknall, are riding high and sure of a play-off spot.

Rumours abounded when Brookbanks issued a public apology to fans after a 6-0 drubbing at Sheffield at the end of last month, which he branded “probably the lowest point of my career”, and then when he left Stones in charge of the Good Friday trip to Shepshed Dynamo last week.

But Brookbanks insisted he was having to deal with a family crisis.

“Please disregard any rumours regarding my position,” he said.

“I ask the fans to bear with me at this time and respect my privacy because I have three very serious illnesses within the family, and my time is being taken up with that.”

Brookbanks says the Stamford chairman and directors have asked him to stay next season when he is determined to build a side capable of winning the title.

“I guarantee that wherever we finish this season, we will finish higher next year,” he added.

Of the four play-off places, two have been guaranteed by Ilkeston and Carlton Town. With two or three games to play, the other two are being chased by Leek Town, Sheffield and Belper Town.

The play-off semi-finals take place on Tuesday April 24, with the final on Saturday April 28.

HUCKNALL Town’s Watnall Road ground has been chosen to host the Notts FA Senior County Cup final for the first time.

It will take place on Tuesday April 24 between holders Eastwood Town and Central Midlands League underdogs Clifton.

Cash-strapped Eastwood, who are managed by ex-Yellows boss John Ramshaw, knocked out Hucknall in the quarter-finals. They are the highest-ranked non-league club in Nottinghamshire but have finished bottom of the Blue Square Bet North after only four wins in 38 matches.

Clifton will be making their first appearance in the final in their history.