No way back this time as Hilton quits
Phil Banyard Damian Hilton has quit as Wroxham manager for the second time in 12 months - and this time it appears there is no going back for the former Norwich City striker.
Damian Hilton has quit as Wroxham manager for the second time in 12 months - and this time it appears there is no going back for the former Norwich City striker.
Almost exactly a year after resigning as player-manager before performing a dramatic U-turn a few days later, Hilton, 31, has told the Yachtsmen once again that he is leaving.
Hilton took charge for the final time in Saturday's 3-2 Ridgeons League Premier Division win over Felixstowe & Walton and informed the players of his decision after the game.
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He said: “I felt that I've taken the club as far as I can and that it was time for a change. The main reason is that I want to continue my playing career for another three or four years and then pursue management again, but I was finding it very difficult to combine playing and managing.
“There were a few things I wanted sorting out last year when I came back and they have not materialised, so I've come to the decision to do what's best for me.”
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Hilton, who guided the Yachtsmen to the Premier Division title in 2006/07 and the Norfolk Senior Cup last season, said he wanted to continue playing in the Ridgeons Premier and he had already received several offers from other clubs, but he would not continue to play for Wroxham.
“I think it would be difficult for a new manager to come in with me still in the changing room,” he said. “I wouldn't say I'm sad to be going - I'm more excited about the new challenge. I'm leaving on good terms, I've got some fantastic friends at the club and I've left them in a good position, with a fantastic squad.”
A club statement said: “All the club's officers, committee, the fans and the players thank Damian for his unstinting and dedicated efforts and wish him well in the future.
“In the meantime, until a new manager is appointed, the first team will be managed by existing personnel on the management staff.”
Wroxham's players gave Hilton the perfect send-off on Saturday as they eased past Felixstowe at Trafford Park.
Gavin Crane gave the home side the lead with a perfectly executed lob, before Gavin Frost equalised on 25 minutes. Almost immediately, Matt Halliday bundled the ball over the line following a corner to restore Wroxham's lead and Paul Cook's header made it 3-1 at half-time.
Danny Phillips reduced the arrears in the second half, but Wroxham held on to take the three points.