Gunn’s ultimate aim is to stave off relegation

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BUCKINGHAM Athletic duo Jim Gunn and Paul Warnecki are to step down at the end of the season – hopefully after saving the side from the drop.

And Gunn, who took over as manager of the South Midlands League Division One outfit shortly before the start of the season, says if he can help the side beat off relegation before he leaves, it will be one of his best achievements during his time in local football.

He told the Advertiser: “It’s within our hands to do it – there are still 13 games to go.

“The whole ethos when we came to the club was to keep them up, and that’s the ambition between now and the end of the season. The target was always to stay up this season.”

Gunn admits he has no other immediate plans after he hangs up his manager’s coat, but admits it has been a tough season.

Athletic lost 6-1 at Hoddesdon, the league’s form team, on Saturday, and Gunn – who signed for Athletic as a player back in 1985 and is a former captain of the side – said losing three players before the start was a blow.

“It was a harsh result, we played well in the first half and equalised through Brad Smith. But when they scored their third goals against the run of play our heads went down.”

And Athletic have a tough game ahead at Bedford this week.

A statement from the club, issued this week, praised Gunn’s efforts.

“Jim stepped into the breach at the beginning of the season with only two weeks to prepare for the start of the season with a depleted squad of players. From the beginning it has been an uphill struggle as Jim had to hit the ground running with the help of Paul Warnecki.

“The committee would like to say a big thank you to Jim and Paul for what they have achieved at the club, putting teams out to fulfil the club’s fixtures throughout the season.

“They have given the club their time and commitment from the word go.

“They were aware this was going to be a difficult task but did not hesitate in what was laid before them.

“The committee wish them both well and hope they will assist the club in some capacity in the future.”

The club is now on the lookout for a new manager. Anyone interested can contact s.orme@yahoo.co.uk or ring 01280 816728.