Kaine Challen stands down as manager of Acle United

Kaine Challen (right) with John Miller after his appointment as Acle United manager last summer Pic

Kaine Challen (right) with John Miller after his appointment as Acle United manager last summer Picture: CLUB - Credit: Archant

Acle United are looking for a new manager after Kaine Challen decided to call it a day just nine games into the new season.

Challen stepped down after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Scole United in the first round of the Mummery Cup, with the club now inviting applications for the vacant position.

"I've stepped down as manager of Acle United and it wasn't an easy decision to make," Challen tweeted. "It's a great club with great people involved. I wish them nothing but the very best moving forward. Thanks to the club for having me."

Acle confirmed Challen's exit in a statement which read: "Kaine Challen has decided to stand down as first team manager with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Kaine for his contribution during his tenure as manager both on and off the field."

Challen, who had managerial experience with Norwich United Under-21s and Wroxham Reserves, took charge in June 2018 following the exit at the end of the previous season of former professional Robert Taylor, who had been at the helm for less than a year himself.

His only full season in charge saw Acle finish a comfortable 10th in the table, an improvement on the 2017-18 campaign when they flirted with relegation before ending up third from bottom, just four points clear of the drop zone.

This season they have won just one of their opening eight league fixtures and lie 13th in the table, just two points above second from bottom Blofield.

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It's all a far cry from Acle's glory years in the early part of the decade when they recorded four successive Sterry Cup triumphs between 2012-13 and 2015-16. Only three clubs - Blofield, Wroxham and CNS Old Boys - have won the Anglian Combination Premier Division title on more occasions than that.

Applications for the manager's job can be forwarded to acleunitedfcsecretary@gmail.com.

On Saturday Acle took the lead through captain Ricky Forder and then missed chances before their hosts Scole scored twice to advance to the next round.

Forder will be in charge of the team until a replacement has been appointed and faces a baptism of fire tomorrow, with league leaders Waveney visiting Bridwell Lane (2.30pm).

The Reserves were beaten at home 6-3 by Gayton United Reserves. Despite holding a 2-0 and 3-2 lead, their opponents stepped up the pressure after the break for a comfortable victory.

The Reserves travel to Dussindale Rovers for a CS Morley cup game (2pm).