Puritans hope to make a quick appointment

Banbury United look set to make a swift appointment as they look to replace departing manager Mike Ford.

Banbury United chairman Phil Lines
Banbury United chairman Phil Lines

The Puritans announced last week that they had been unable to come to an agreement with Ford to stay on for the next Southern League Premier Central campaign, bringing an end to his five-year stint with the club.

However, Banbury are wasting little time in the hunt for his successor.

The deadline for applications was yesterday (Wednesday) and chairman Phil Lines confirmed a shortlist will now be drawn up with interviews set to take place over the weekend in the hope the new manager can be unveiled early next week.

“We have been inundated with some excellent applications for the job, including one from abroad and others from all levels of non-League football,” Lines said.

“So we have an impressive list of candidates to comb through.

“We will be drawing up a shortlist by the weekend and then over the weekend we will look to do some interviews and by next Monday or Tuesday we will hope to have our man in place.

“The current group of players are possibly a bit concerned with not having a manager so as soon as we can get one in place he can start talking to those players and arrange for pre-season whenever that may be.

“We are determined to have a conclusion to it within seven to 10 days of the closing date for applications.”

Ford guided Banbury to promotion in the Southern League South & West Division in the 2015-16 season before establishing them in the top-flight.

And Lines paid tribute to the departing boss by adding: “We were disappointed to lose Mike.

“Over the five years he has done some great work at the club.

“So it’s disappointing but we wish him well and it’s time for us to move on and we need to find a replacement of a similar quality.”