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FOOTBALL: Abrupt Robins axe a real shock for devastated Derek
DEREK Graham says he was desperate to stay at Frome Town and was ‘shocked and surprised’ after being axed as Robins manager last weekend.
The 66-year-old, from Warminster, was promoted from his role as assistant manager following the departure of Darren Perrin late last season and, after successfully staving off the threat of relegation from the top tier of the Southern League during a month-long spell as caretaker-boss, was handed the reins at Badgers Hill in April.
But just nine games into the current campaign, the former Warminster Town and Westbury United chief was told that his time was up, with assistant boss Micky Byrne also shown the door.
Graham says he was given no reason for his sacking and is frustrated that he wasn’t given the opportunity to improve on the Robins’ shaky start to the season.
“I turned up on Saturday to talk about a few players that we’d had seven days (approach) in for and I was told then that the club were looking for a new manager,” said Graham, who has also been in charge at Amesbury Town and been an assistant at Melksham Town, Downton and Odd Down.
“I was totally shocked and surprised. I just couldn’t believe it.
“When I was asked to be the manager, I said ‘are you sure?’ because it’s a big old job.
“I told the club to let me know if things weren’t going well and we’d sort something out because I didn’t want it to end in tears.
“But nobody had said they were unhappy before Saturday.
“I loved it at the club but when they asked me if I wanted to stay on in another role, I obviously just said ‘you’re joking, aren’t you?’.
“It’s frustrating because we’d changed the style of play and the team that we’d put together were just starting to find their feet but nine games just seems too quick.
“We’ve played some of the top teams in this league already and I honestly believe that the next five games were winnable but I’m not going to get the chance to take them on.
“This league is such a difficult standard and little old Frome are up against sides like Cambridge City and Truro City.
“Continuing to stay in this league would be massive and it’s not like we were in the bottom four at the moment.
“I’ve got to say thanks for Frome for allowing me to get past 1,000 competitive games as a manager and assistant in senior football and thanks to the supporters and players for seeing what I was trying to do.”
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