REDDITCH United have been rocked by the departure of manager Liam McDonald to Hednesford Town.
The 31-year-old, who has overseen a remarkable transformation in fortunes during his three seasons in charge at the Valley Stadium, has opted to join the Pitmen having narrowly failed to guide the Reds into this season’s Southern League Premier Division play-off final.
McDonald will be joined by his assistant Nick Green and coach Dave Bridgwater at Keys Park following the departure of Frank Sinclair, who was the Pitmen’s third boss last season following Rob Smith and Bernard McNally.
United chairman Chris Swan will now begin the hunt to find a replacement for McDonald and his staff, but finding a team capable of matching the fine progress made in recent seasons will be no easy task.
However, Swan is adamant exciting times still lie ahead at the Valley as the Reds look to build on finishing runners-up last season.
“I would like to thank Liam and his backroom team of Nick Green and David Bridgwater for their hard work and I’m sure everyone at the Reds will wish them the best in their new challenge,” Swan said.
“These are exciting times at Redditch United with nearly £1m being invested in our new 3G pitch, improvements to the stadium and the launch of our new football academy.
“We have already spoken to a number of excellent candidates which shows how well the club is now regarded in non-league.
“Building on the success of last year, coupled with all the work going on at the Valley Stadium, I’m looking forward to a new era at Redditch United.”
The club expects to start interviews by the end of the week.
McDonald, who took charge at Redditch in May 2013 having previously played for the Reds, said: “I would just like to thank everybody involved in making Redditch a success over the past three years.
“I’ve loved my time at the club and it will always have a special place in my heart.
“Off the field, things have progressed so much that I’m confident it will have a bright future.
“It was a really difficult decision to leave but I felt that it was my time to move on and start a new challenge. I’m sure the new man coming in will be able to carry on the good work the club have done and success will follow.
“I would like to thank Chris Swan for giving me an opportunity – it’s been brilliant working alongside him.
“Together with Nick Green and David Bridgwater, I would like to thank the players for giving their all for the club and the supporters for backing the players and myself 100 per cent.”
Hednesford will play their football at the same level as Redditch next season having been relegated from Vanarama National North.