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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Rudge resigns as Bluebirds boss
NATHAN Rudge has resigned as Chippenham Town manager just two games into the new league season.
Rudge offered his resignation after last night's 2-1 home defeat to Poole Town in the Calor League Southern Premier Division, which followed a 2-0 reverse at Banbury United on the opening day of the season on Saturday.
A club statement said: "Chippenham Town manager Nathan Rudge has resigned as manager with immediate effect.
"Chairman Neil Blackmore accepted Rudge’s decision with much regret.
"Chippenham have lost both of their Calor Gas Southern League Premier games this season.
"Assistant manager Steve Winter, will take charge of first-team affairs until the board appoint a permanent replacement.''
Chairman Neil Blackmore told the Gazette & Herald: "Nathan rang me this morning and said that he wasn’t happy with the way things were going and that it was affecting his home life.
"He said that he wanted to hand in his resignation and at the end of the day, it’s only the game of football.
"If that’s the case, then I think that it’s the right decision for him. But it’s a bitter blow for the football club.''
Winter, whose first match in temporary charge will be at home to Hitchin on Saturday, followed by a trip to Frome on Bank Holiday Monday, added this morning: "I wasn’t expecting it really and I can’t really speak for Nath but these kind of things happen.
"Pre-season had been really good and I’d enjoyed working with Nath but the important thing now is to get the lads focussed on Saturday’s game.
Winter, who has indicated he will be interested in succeeding Rudge on a full-time basis, added: "We’ve got training tomorrow night and I’m sure we’ll talk about it then but we’ve got to concentrate on playing football.''
Rudge took over as player-manager in April 2012, taking on first-team affairs as previous boss Adie Mings stepped up to become director of football.
In his first full season in charge, Chippenham suffered a horror 17-match winless run mid-season and flirted with relegation before recovering with seven wins in succession to eventually finish 15th.
This season started controversially as Rudge was slapped with a four-match touchline ban and fine after being found guilty of an FA misconduct charge relating to racially aggravated comments at an FA Cup clash last season.
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