EXCLUSIVE: Frustrated coach Horne quits March Bears as player numbers dwindle

PRESIDENT Barry Feetham has paid tribute to the legacy left by Richard Horne after the frustrated March Bears coach quit the club this week.

Horne has left the Bears after a year and a half at the helm - citing a lack of players as a key factor in his decision. Assistant coach Carl Moore will also leave.

Horne said: “As coach my job was to make sure we kept improving. With dropping numbers, players’ work commitments and injuries I felt like I couldn’t do that job.”

The depleted Bears have suffered a brutal welcome to the Greene King Super Premiere Merit League this season and sit bottom of the table.

But President Barry Feetham praised the work of Horne, who led a remarkable turnaround at the club last year.

“We have come a long way under Richard,” said Feetham. “He gave the guys guidance and he gave them that confidence in their own ability.

“He has left a legacy at the club. They are now playing to a good standard and they will keep doing that.

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“It’s not all doom and gloom. The foundations have been laid and it’s up to us to maintain that level and go further.”

Horne, who has recently moved away from the area, said the increase in travel also played a part in his decision.

He said: “I had committed to them for three years and I would never normally walk away so it was a hard decision - but it was a decision I had to be quite ruthless with.

“There’s been nothing acrimonious. I’m very sad to leave because it would have been nice to finish the job.

“If ever they need any help I’ll be there. It’s a great club and it doesn’t deserve to be going anywhere but forward.”

The Bears are still discussing who will take over Horne’s role, with several young coaches already in the playing squad.

March take on Bury Wolves at the Elm Road Sports Field tomorrow (Kick-off 2.15pm). The club are also planning a memorial match for Chris Day and former vice-president Doug Cranwell, which will take place next Saturday.