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Wroxham ‘blip’ will not define non-league manager Larter

09:23 01 February 2016

Stewart Larter. Picture: JAMES BASS

Stewart Larter. Picture: JAMES BASS

His painful exit from Wroxham has not convinced Stewart Larter to steer clear of the area’s non-league managerial merry-go-round.

The Yachtsmen chief was left heartbroken on Wednesday when he decided to walk away from his beloved Trafford Park club – where he made more than 500 appearances as a player in the 1990s. Larter’s departure came in the same week that player-boss Robbie Harris quit Fakenham Town and Ricci Butler almost fell on his sword at Gorleston before retracting his resignation.

Gavin Lemmon and Steve Eastaugh are thought to be the early frontrunners for the vacant Ryman League North position but Larter admits it may not be too long before he’s back in the dugout himself.

The 49-year-old, who enjoyed great success as sole Gorleston boss from 2012 before moving to Wroxham in May 2014, said: “I look back at what I achieved as a player and I’m immensely proud. I feel the same when I look back at my time so far as a manager.

“Apart from this season, I’ve won trophies and achieved some really good league positions. Even the best managers in the world have blips. Will I take another job in the near future? Who knows? It depends on the circumstances but I wouldn’t say this is definitely the end for me as a manager, even if I haven’t enjoyed this season.

“Of course this really, really hurts because of my affiliation with the club. But players come and go and so do managers. Wroxham is more about the volunteers who put hours and hours into the running of this club. They’re the soul of Wroxham. They’re who matter.

“I’ve had a blip on the back of three to four massively successful years. I’ve learned a massive amount this season and you have to go through tough times in football, life and even your job, to realise some things that you hadn’t.”

Larter – who won the Norfolk Senior Cup last term and almost unexpectedly guided the Yachtsmen to the play-offs – departed with his side sitting just three points above the relegation zone. On Saturday they hosted basement boys Redbridge in a crucial match that saw director of football Chris Wigger occupying the technical area.

It is thought he is filling the void until relegation-threatened Wroxham make a decision on “the interested parties” they are speaking to. Former player Lemmon, currently at Norwich United, is believed to stand a chance as his playing days draw to a close. Despite his lack of managerial experience, the midfielder is widely respected and has a great understanding of the area’s scene thanks to his job with Norfolk FA.

Eastaugh has already worked for Wroxham as David Batch’s assistant before following the club’s manager to AFC Sudbury and then St Neots. Batch announced a slightly earlier than planed retirement a few weeks ago and tipped Eastaugh to step up to the plate – but the Saints, as of yet, haven’t listened.

Click here to find out how Wroxham fared against Redbridge at the weekend.

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