Charnock Richard boss Andy Westwell reveals why he is leaving the club after 18 years at the helm
Charnock Richard boss Andy Westwell has revealed why he is leaving the club at the end of the season after 18 years at the helm.
Former player Westwell took over in 2001 and guided Charnock to the West Lancashire League Premier Division title six times and steered them to the North West Counties League in 2016.
His side were promoted again and he will leave the side in the NWCL Premier Division.
Westwell’s final game will be at Mossie Park on April 27, when Charnock host Whitchurch Alport, with former reserve-team boss Ryan Donnellan taking over in the summer.
And Westwell says the reason behind his exit is that he thinks it is the right time to go and for some fresh blood to take over.
“I just think I have been there a long time,” he said. “It is not that I can’t take the club any further – I just feel it is the right time to step away from it.
“I don’t even know if I’m looking for a fresh challenge. I have been there a long time and I think the club has gone as far as it can go, as far as semi-professional football goes, unless they get a big influx of money from somewhere.
“I don’t think it can get too much further and I think it is time for a bit of freshness in the club.”
The former Chorley player is pleased with what he has achieved in his 18 years, with his legacy set to be taking the club from amateur to semi-professional status.
He said: “When we first went to Charnock we decided we wanted to make it well known at amateur football level – which I think we did over a number of years.
“The highlights were winning the Lancashire Shield about five times, which were pleasing for me.
“We did very well in the West Lancashire League but it stagnated a bit.
“We were playing the same teams so we decided to make the decision to go a bit higher.
“I knew how far we could go with it. The first season I had a good idea we could do well and compete without paying any players and we got out of the First Division of the North West Counties.
“We have established ourselves in the last two years in the Premier Division and become a team that everyone knows are hard to beat.
“My main achievement is taking them from an amateur side to a semi-professional side that can compete with other semi-pro sides. That has pleased me the most.
“I have a good set of lads around me. We have got the players we needed and they are all good lads who are part of a decent side.
“When I arrived at Charnock, we didn’t have a facility like we have now.
“I’ve built everything up from the start and put the infrastructure in for the juniors to start blooding the juniors.
We have youngsters playing in our academy at 16 and 17 going into our reserve team.
“I built it all the way though.
“My legacy? I just hope that people think I have done well. That is all I want.”
And Westwell says he has been humbled by the good wishes he has received since the news broke.
He said: “It was a tough decision and I’m quite shocked by the social media reaction – so many different things from different people.
“It has been quite humbling really. I’m not good with social media but thank you for all the well wishes.”