Portland United Football Club can announce that First Team Player-Manager Franklyn Clarke will be stepping down from the role after tomorrow’s home game against Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

Franklyn Clarke’s statement below.

“I have made the decision to step down as Player-Manager of Portland United FC after tomorrow’s game.

I think unless you have managed before, you don’t necessarily understand the time and levels of commitment required. I am extremely grateful to the football club for giving me the opportunity to manage at the age of 27. It has been two and a half years and when I think about where we first were, we were in a place of transition. In the time since, we have successfully built a pathway and that is something I am very proud of. There are some brilliant young players at the club, in the first team, the reserves and the Under 18’s.

It is important in life to know when it is time to step away and I feel like that time is now. I have given everything I can to this club. I have literally given blood, sweat and tears. I am very proud of what we have achieved.

I do want to keep playing at some point as I am only 29 years old and I still feel I have four or five years of playing in me. I am going to take a few weeks out, rest, recharge and spend time with those closest to me.

In terms of the club, I only see good things for the club moving forward. The management side of football is completely different to playing. We make some mistakes along the way but we also got lots right. Look at the club now, three teams full of young, ambitious and hungry lads.

Finally, I want to see a big thank you to all management and players past and present. A special thank you to Pooley (Sam Poole) who was also instrumental in the pathway. This club has really good people involved within it and I wish Portland United FC and everyone involved with the club the best of luck for the future.”

Chairman Matt Lucas has also paid tribute and thanked Franklyn for his time at the club.

“It has been an absolute joy to work with Franklyn and also Sam. It has been great that we have been able to share and implement a vision that has resulted in a successful pathway and a base for us to work from. Obviously, I go back a long way with Franklyn, and I’m fortunate to be able to call him a good friend. On behalf of everyone at Portland United, we thank him for his efforts and for embracing everything that is good about our club. Personally I would like to wish Franklyn all the very best in whatever he chooses to do next in his footballing journey.”

A further announcement with regards to an interim appointment will be made in due course.