Mark McDonnell quitting as Euxton Villa manager after 26 years but will remain at the club in off the field role

Euxton Villa boss Mark McDonnell
Euxton Villa boss Mark McDonnell
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Mark McDonnell says he is quitting his role as Euxton Villa manager after 26 years but that he is not leaving the club as he shifts focus to off-the-field matters.

McDonnell has been in charge of Villa’s first team since 1993 and has since seen a club that was struggling to get 11 players for a game, go on to have 40 junior sides in addition to the senior set-up.

The West Lancashire League Premier Division side have three games left and Saturday’s clash against Thornton Cleveleys will be McDonnell’s last home game as first-team manager.

But passing the baton on to player-coach Matt Atherton does not mean he will be leaving the club.

McDonnell instead says he will be taking on a role behind the scenes in a yet-untitled general manager-tyle role. He said: “I spoke to the club at the start of the season. I’d had it in mind for a short while.

“After such a long time I felt it might be time for a fresh look at things. If I’m being honest I needed a bit of breather.

“I do everything from running the team to sponsors, I’m a huge part of the club.

“But I’m not actually leaving the club.

“I’m definitely staying on board in some kind of general manager-type role. I don’t want to give it a title yet.

“It is a long time 26 years. My last three games coming up. I’ve had a lot of messages. It is a massively difficult decision.

“People have tried to talk me round. I’ve questioned whether I’m making the right decision but I definitely think I am.

“I want to make sure I’m around and see them push on.”

And he explained that
 he is hoping to build a pathway for the juniors to the first team and also improve the club commercially off the field.

He said: “I will be looking at how we can maybe pull together, work with the Under-18s and Under-16s sides a bit closer and build a pathway to the senior sides but also I want to look a bit more on the commercial side.

“We’ve got a big profile but maybe we want to look at sponsorship, a bit more commercial and raising the club’s profile with businesses and do more on the fundraising side.

“The committee is an ageing committee now I think one or two are thinking of stepping down, and like any club, new ideas on the committee side to try and drive it forward.

“So I will be looking at other roles more off-the-field but I will be there to help the new management team if they have any issues.

“But I will not be getting involved in the day-to-day running of the side, more off the field – I will probably end up selling brews!”