Tobi Hutchinson: why I had to resign as Eastbourne United manager

Tobi Hutchinson
Tobi Hutchinson

Eastbourne United manager Tobi Hutchinson gave a very honest account of his reasons for resigning as Eastbourne United’s manager just a week before the start of the season.

Hutchinson felt he took took too much verbal abuse from Eastbourne Town fans during their derby defeat at the Oval last season and he also wanted to devote more time to watching his two sons play, as they embark on their professional careers.

Following his appointment in September 2015, Hutchinson oversaw 134 games in charge, winning more than 40 per cent of his fixtures. Hutchinson also took charge of the under-18s last season and led them to runners-up spot in their first season at that level.

Hutchinson said, “I haven’t felt the same about football since the derby game v Eastbourne Town last April.

“It left me very disillusioned with football people in general and although some involved did apologise it drained me of any real enthusiasm for local football. My pride made me believe I could regain that enthusiasm and improve on last season but the exodus of young players that were earmarked for first team football at Eastbourne United this season, to effectively play youth football elsewhere, compounded my loss of enthusiasm.

“Without this, it was very difficult to motivate myself let alone players, so I was fighting a losing battle to people at the club as well as players, who clearly didn’t want to make the same commitment I try to give and that I expected of them.

“I have two sons who are both starting life as pro footballers, both of whom are based in Essex and both of whom deserve my undivided attention and whilst I was perhaps stupidly prepared to sacrifice watching them play each week, I wasn’t prepared to make that sacrifice for something I wasn’t enjoying and wasn’t getting the same levels of commitment back from other people.

“For the first time, I will be able to watch my kids play and support their careers without first having to consider someone else’s kid or another football team. My own family can be priority rather than them fitting in to suit what time I have left.

“My biggest regret is not making this decision last May but I became a prisoner of my own stubbornness to make a success of the job.

“I leave the club having been a key part in providing them with a thriving youth section, which was always part of my long term plans and that now should be the base from which they build. I’d like to thank Steve Huxley, Jiffy and Dean Allchin for their unwavering support along with my team of Clive Connell, Aiden McManus, Steve Worsell and Tom Cherryman for supporting me and helping us secure Premier Division status last season. I wish whoever takes over the very best of luck.”

A club statement read, “The club would like to thank Tobi, and his partner Claire, for the time and effort they have given and hope that we will see them back at The Oval in the not too distant future. A statement will follow regarding the first team managerial position once further information is available.”

Eastbourne United welcome Arundel to the Oval today (Saturday) for their first match of the new season.