EV2 Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League
Jon Wragg feels he and his management team have left Ecclesfield Red Rose 1915 with a sound foundation for the next incumbent.
Wragg and assistants, brother Matt, and Ryan McDonald bowed out after Ecclesfield’s final game of the campaign – the 4-2 defeat at big guns Dodworth Miners Welfare.
The trio have been mulling over their futures for six weeks after a mentally challenging second half of the season which has seen Ecclesfield struggle heavily with injuries and unavailability.
Red Rose have fielded several threadbare sides in recent months and the woes have contributed to their fall from the top five to a respectable seventh-place finish during their first full season in the Premier Division.
“There’s no issues with the club, we just think it is the right time for us to leave and have a break from it and let the club have a fresh start,” Wragg told Non League Yorkshire.
“We have done four years (three as assistant to Matt Griffin and one as manager) and they have been four good years and we feel we have left the club in a really good place.
“There’s some really good players and we have been fighting it out in the top six all season in our first full season in the Premier.
“But it is a tough gig managing a standalone club in a tough league and we have probably taken it as far as we can.”
Wragg informed the Red Rose committee a few days ago.
The stunned players were told in the post-match debrief after the Dodworth defeat.
“I think a few of them were surprised as none of them knew (we were stepping down),” he said.
“I text the captain Tyler Bates earlier because he wasn’t here (at Dodworth).
“We’ve got on with the lads so it will be a shock for them until they have fully digested the news.
“(In the changing room) I passed it over to (secretary) Malcolm (Boswell) to give a speech and he said the club has been going since 1915 and it will carry on long after us.
After an impressive campaign with Red Rose, former Maltby Main and Parkgate defender Wragg is bound to be someone worth speaking to if you are a South Yorkshire-based Non League or grassroots side.
Wragg is in no rush to return to the dugout.
“I’ve no idea,” he said.
“We’ll take a break and I may get the boots back out and play over 35s.
“I’ve two lads so if I’m not doing anything I’m sure the missus will keep me busy with them.
“One of them is getting old enough to go to the (Bramall) Lane.
“I’ve got a season ticket at Sheffield United so I’ll probably get down there a little bit more.”