Mark Betts has been thrust back into the managerial hot seat at Billingshurst and insists it is business as usual after Paul Cooper’s shock decision to resign this week.
Cooper and assistant Steve Barrow have taken over at struggling County League Division 1 side Crawley Down Gatwick just five months on from being announced as the new management team at Hurst.
The pair admitted it was an offer they could not turn down despite having led Billingshurst to second in Division 3 in their short spell at the Jubilee Fields.
Now Betts, having stepped down as manager at the end of last season to concentrate on off-the-field matters and help with the club’s own ambition of stepping up the pyramid, will retake the reins in the dugout until the end of the season.
He said: “It is a shock, particularly after the last couple of results. It was a different type of football for them than at YM, but they seemed to get getting to grips with it and then what with the rout on Saturday and going second, it was going well.
“I knew they were ambitious and as I said to them, I would never want to stand in the way of any players or managers that want to better themselves, not only in football, but any forms of life.
“It’s business as usual. We are in a decent position and I have spoken to every player and apart from one (James Day) they are all going to stay.
“They said they are enjoying things at Billingshurst and want to finish what they have started and prove a point.
“It’s purely me now until the end of the season and take stock then. If we can get a good finish this year, with all the rumblings in the County League, we have plans for the ground and facilities, suddenly we are in a very attractive position for someone else that wants to come in.”
Outgoing boss Cooper admitted the chance to manage in Division 1 was something they couldn’t turn down and are happy to leave Billingshurst in an appealing position.
He said: “Indeed it was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. At the weekend we had a call from the Crawley Down Gatwick chairman and after a discussion, Steve and myself mulled it over and accepted the role.
“We leave Billingshurst in a healthy position having joined them when they had finished bottom of County 3 to now be second, nine games left and a great chance of promotion.
“We wish Mark Betts and the squad the very best of luck and hope the rest of the club support him for the remainder of the season.
“For us it will certainly be a project from the off with Crawley Down currently sitting 19th out of 20 teams, but as ever, the challenge is one we’ll thrive on.”