ANOTHER savage blow has been dealt to Linby Colliery Welfare after arguably the most fraught season of their long and proud history.
Linby, who date back to 1892, finished rock-bottom of the Notts Senior League’s Senior Division after gaining only seven points from 30 matches.
Now they have been hit by the surprise resignation of manager Neil Smith, who only took over last October.
Former Basford United boss Smith, who was a trainee at Notts County in his younger playing days, succeeded Terry Smith after a disastrous start to the 2010/11 campaign in which Linby lost ten of their first 11 league matches.
Initially he brought about an improvement in form. But of 20 league games at the helm, he won only one and lost 18.
Linby will almost certainly earn a relegation reprieve because two or three clubs, including Basford, are defecting to the Central Midlands League, while there are doubts about the futures of others, including Bulwell. But after indicating that he would be staying on to rebuild the team, Smith has now handed in his notice.
In a text message sent to players, Smith said: “I feel that I’m not the right person to take the club forward. I also want to play next season without the hassle of managing.”
Linby secretary Adrian Ward said: “It’s entirely Neil’s decision. He feels that he would not be able to attract the right sort of players needed for next season.
“We are now in a mess. We will be holding a meeting this weekend to mull over the candidates to replace Neil and to decide whether to advertise the job.
“I am disappointed because Neil is one of the main reasons I have stayed at Linby after I was approached a few weeks ago to join Hucknall Town as their secretary.”
The new appointment will be Linby’s FOURTH manager in as many years since the exit of Dave Bradshaw in 2007.
Kev Corbett guided them to the league cup final in 2008 but last season, they only just avoided the drop under Kez Dean and Matt Keetley, who quit exactly a year ago.