OTLEY Town first team manager Richard Suddes has informed the club committee that he will be stepping down from his role at the end of the season as a result of home and work commitments. First team coach Andy Foster has also confirmed that he will be stepping down.

The club are pleased to announce that Harley Hirst has been appointed as the new first team manager for the new season 2023/24 and will officially begin his role once the current season is completed.

Chairman Kai Arter commented: "The club would like to thank Richard and Andy for their hard work and commitment over the time they were at the club. Richard stepped in at short notice following the sudden departure of the previous manager and along with Andy has been in charge of the side during a period when seasons were disrupted by Covid and we missed out on almost certain promotion in 2019/20. Despite that setback, the club gained promotion to the premier division of the West Yorkshire league in 2021/22 as well as winning the district cup in the same season.

“Richard approached me recently to explain his decision to step down, and I whilst very disappointed, I am pleased that he allowed the club time to plan for next season in plenty of time. This allowed us to secure the services of Harley Hirst as first team manager for next season. Harley has most recently been coaching and managing with Thackley in the NCEL and before that, Headingley in the West Yorkshire League.

“I am delighted that Harley has agreed to become the new first team manager and getting this appointment in place now allows us to plan for next season. We welcome him to the club and wish him every success. He will start work officially as soon as the current season concludes and has already started to plan for next season."

Further first team appointments are expected to be made in the coming weeks. The club are already looking to add to the playing squads for next season across all four senior sides playing across the West Yorkshire and Craven leagues. Interested players should get in touch through the club website or directly to the chairman or first team manager.