Sporting braced for FA Cup as manager search begins

First published in Sport

BROMSGROVE Sporting have the unwanted distraction of looking for a new manager as they prepare for Saturday’s historic FA Cup match against Bewdley Town.

The Rouslers are looking for a replacement for Adrian Mander, who had to tender his resignation following a bust-up before last Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Cadbury Athletic in the Midlands Football League Premier.

Coaches Les Palmer and Ross Collins, as well as youth boss Graham Scott, are now in charge of team affairs ahead of Saturday’s Extra Preliminary Round clash (3pm kick-off).

It’s the first time Sporting have played in the grand old competition, although forerunners Bromsgrove Rovers famously reached the Third Round against Barnsley during the 1993-94 campaign.

Adding extra intrigue to this weekend’s game is the fact that Town are being managed by Phil Mullen, who held the reins between legendary boss Bobby Hope’s two spells at Rovers.

“I would love to get 1,000 fans through the door, to watch our first-ever game in the FA Cup,” said chairman John Teece.

“It will also be a pleasure to welcome back Phil Mullen, who managed Bromsgrove Rovers.

“He replaced Bobby Hope, who went to Burton Albion. When we learned Bobby was available again, some members of the board wanted him back even though Phil had done nothing wrong.

“It was left to me do the unpleasant work, but he and I have remained good friends and we’ll have a drink after the game on Saturday.”

Palmer and Collins are working hard to ensure the squad will be capable of competing after several players left. Sean Williams joined Sporting’s Midlands Football League rivals AFC Hinckley last week.

Mander, who guided the club to their first piece of silverware in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup last season, quit the Victoria Ground outfit after he grabbed director Jon Prescott following a heated argument.

Teece said: “Adrian’s position was untenable after what happened.

“It’s never a good time for a manager to leave but it’s so early in the season there is plenty of time.

“For the club the matter has been closed. The King is dead, long live the King.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve got Les Palmer and Ross Collins who can look after the team as well as Graham Scott.

“We are now in the process of trying to find a new manager and we want someone who has a good track record.

“I would like someone with experience from a higher level, who brings technical nous and has proven man-management skills.”

Last week’s incident was the culmination of a long-running feud between Prescott and Mander.

Mander said: “I am gutted to be honest. I have let myself down and had no option but to tender my resignation.

“I regret my actions in the heat of the moment.

“I wish Bromsgrove Sporting all the best and want them to succeed.”

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