‘Bitterly disappointed’ Suter says hidden agenda behind Town exit

Former Steyning Town manager John Suter
Former Steyning Town manager John Suter
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John Suter has been left ‘bitterly disappointed’ and insists he does not believe he has been told the whole story after his forced departure from Steyning Town.

Vastly-experienced Suter took charge at The Shooting Field in June 2013 and led them to a tenth-place finish in Division 2 this season.

That was the same as the season before he arrived and with an original brief to keep the club at the same level, the well-know manager believes he had helped them through a tough couple of years ready to now push on.

Suter was called to the club for a meeting last week to discuss plans for next season, but was instead sacked.

Chairman Richard Woodbridge said in a statement the ‘reluctant’ change has come due to the club’s long-term interest of focusing on youth and in line with their under-21 side starting next season.

But Suter is adamant that things do not add up and said: “I am very disappointed with what has happened and I think there is a hidden agenda along the line.

“The reasons I have been given do not really substantiate the decision. I did not expect it and in a lot of ways I am cross about it. I have put in two years of exceptional hard work.

“It seems I am not wanted by a committee that never go to away games and do not watch a lot of football, they have never watched a reserve game and yet they seem to not want me here.

“Everyone of the players was looking forward to next year and now it has all been taken away from me. There is nothing I can do about it, but I have ended up feeling bitterly disappointed and a little bit bitter.

“The club had debts and wanted to pay them off and to help towards that not one player has taken any money out of the club in my time here.”

Suter said his work at the club was not just running the side and was often sweeping up the changing rooms, opening and closing the bar and serving on training nights.

The former Horsham YMCA boss believes he has always had a good relationship with chairman Woodbridge and added: “What is galling is so many people have said nice things and Woody said in the club statement that he was reluctant to get rid of me.

“One of the reasons I was given for the decision was due to two potential under-21 managers that might be coming in and another, that I have had a number of assistants on the bench - all of which there are good reasons behind.

“I really do not think I have been told the whole story. It’s not something I predicted as at the last game of the season we had a great camaraderie and we only lost to a last-minute goal against a team who finished runners-up, having beat them a few games earlier.

“It was a good place to be and everyone was upbeat after two years of keeping our head above water, there was some light at the end of the tunnel, then someone cuts your head off.”

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