West Yorkshire League: English to step down after securing title for Wetherby Athletic second string

Des English, left, and the Wetherby Athletic Reserves team
Des English, left, and the Wetherby Athletic Reserves team

Des English will stand down as the manager of Wetherby Athletic’s league winning Reserves team, despite guiding the team to the West Yorkshire Alliance League title.

Wetherby were confirmed as title winners on Monday evening when Hunslet Club fell to a 2-1 defeat at Beeston St Anthony’s - adding to their Barkston Ash success last month.

However, celebrations are on temporary hold after runners-up Hunslet lodged a complained to the West Riding FA which could alter the outcome of the title.

The Leeds side have raised questions over the number of first team players Beeston St Anthony’s played during that contest.

But Athletic boss English, who went to Hunslet to watch Monday’s clash, is not concerned the appeal will affect where the trophy heads.

English has been in charge of the second string after stepping down from leading Wetherby’s top Saturday side two years ago.

However, he has now confirmed he is taking a year away from management.

“I have always said it’s best to go from a position of strength than staying too long,” English said. “It’s time to pass the baton on. I am going to be a resource that the club can use but I want to have time off from the week to week football.”

Wetherby all but secured the title on Saturday with a thumping 6-1 victory over Brighouse Old Boys Reserves on the Ings. Matt Lomard opened the scoring on the half hour before Brian Blewitt doubled the Tangerines tally on 34.

Second half goals from Neil Dickie (2), Andrew Duffy and Andy Maxted completed the rout and meant Athletic had a three-point gap over Hunslet.

The victory also ensured third-placed Beeston could not creep ahead in their games in hand.

English credited the strength of the whole club as the reason behind the league triumph, adding that his reserves were deserved winners of the Alliance league.

He said: “We have had a really good season and for the club, the first team has done very well.

“The club’s on a bit of a high at the moment. Things are going well off the pitch and Mark (Forster) has got the first team doing well. I have had a group of lads for a while, and this is the icing on the cake.”

Chairman Gus Taylor said: “I would like to pay a massive tribute to Des and to Chris Johnston his assistan.

“They have done a fantastic job over many years and am really pleased they want to still remain part of the club.”