Sacked Hesketh: ‘Lancaster lacking direction’

Former Lancaster City manager Tony Hesketh.
Former Lancaster City manager Tony Hesketh.

SACKED Lancaster City manager Tony Hesketh claims the club are ‘lacking direction’.

The popular Giant Axe boss was dismissed from his post last Thursday but after seeing messages of support from the club’s fans asked chairman Mick Hoyle to reconsider on Friday.

Tony Hesketh.

Tony Hesketh.

But the club’s board stuck to their guns, and a “shocked” Hesketh was formally removed from the Dolly Blues hot seat on Monday around a week before he was due to come back to the club after a spell off on sick leave following a hip operation.

He said: “I’m disappointed and shocked.

“I gave Mick Hoyle a ring on Friday after seeing messages of support from fans on the website and gave him a chance to reconsider his decision.

“I said ‘you have got to reconsider and we can continue taking this club forward’.

“He obviously thought about it over the weekend but obviously stood by his decision and he’s well within his rights to dismiss me, but I’m totally baffled.

“He wanted to make it amicable but I said no, you’ve got to sack me.”

Hesketh said he was proud of the work he had done with Phil Brown in his three-and-a-half year second spell at the club but lamented the club moving away from their link with Myerscough College to a focus on local talent.

“We were the envy of the North West because of our partnership with Myerscough,” he said.

“Phil has gone above and beyond the call of duty and on the back of his hard work I’ve been deemed a better manager.

“Lancaster City FC are going to reap rewards of the moves of Danny Hattersley, Alex Meaney and Alex Kenyon to Stockport.

“An agreement signed by all parties means both Lancaster City and Myerscough get a cut of any sell-on fee.

“Stockport were prepared to give these a lads a chance full-time and we had players coming through every year and it could have carried on for 15 or 20 years.

“I don’t know why the club wouldn’t want that, people will have to make their own mind up.

“And look at what we’ve brought in the last few years.

“There was the Jordan Connerton deal, yes he was from Lancaster but he was a Myerscough lad who I brought from Chorley.

“The Fair Play awards were worth £1,000 each and the national one £4,000. With the cup runs we must have brought in £35,000 to £40,000 over our time here.

“I thought that was a good contribution.”

If he had returned to the dugout as planned, Hesketh said there would have needed to be changes.

“I had concerns over the new under 18s side set up at a cost to the club with one game a week on the pitch that already isn’t in great condition.

“And it was in direct conflict with the Myerscough arrangement just to give some of these local lads a chance.

“Some of the players brought in simply aren’t good enough either and a few would of left pretty quickly if I’d returned.

“At semi-professional level you have to look a bit further afield and not just rely on the local leagues, the lads there play at that level for a reason.”

Hesketh is planning to attend City’s FA Trophy tie with Wakefield on Saturday in a bid to say goodbye to everyone at the club and has urged the Giant Axe faithful to continue their support at what is a difficult time for the club.

“I have been overwhelmed by the reaction from supporters who are amongst the best in the country and fully intend on being at the game on Saturday,” he said.

“I want to say cheerio properly to everyone at the club and hope the players I brought in put on a show and the newer ones prove they deserve to wear the Dolly Blue shirt.

“I want them to win handsomely. I’m not coming to cause hassle.”

“I would urge the supporters to get behind the team and not withdraw from the fans’ fund as they are needed more than ever.

“The club is lacking direction.”

The experienced former Chorley boss says he will not be rushing back into football but has had offers.

“I’ve had a couple of offers already and I’ll be fully fit and back in action in a week or so. But I’m not rushing into anything.”