Why I had to leave Gorleston - Daniels

Norfolk Senior Cup winning manager Richard Daniels says he is “quietly devastated” after leaving Gorleston after four years but admits he had lost his drive over the last few weeks.

In a whirlwind few days Daniels quit his director of football post to fill the Diss vacancy created when Robert Taylor resigned. Daniels described the moment when Diss got in touch with him as “a bolt out of the blue” but said after meeting the chairman “there was a buzz which came back”.

He is looking forward to the challenge of turning around the fortunes of the 1994 FA Vase winners on his return to the club where he was Reserve team manager when ex-Canary Robert Fleck was at the first team helm, around a decade ago.

Daniels, who is being assisted by former Long Melford boss Jason Maher, was in the dug-out on Saturday as the lowly Tangerines lost 4-1 to high-flying Brantham – their 11th defeat in 16 Thurlow Nunn Premier Division games.“There were plenty of positives. But they are down near the bottom for a reason.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work to turn things round but it’s a well-run club, Dickie Upson runs a tight ship. There will be players coming in and players going out of the door.”

He said leaving the Greens had left him feeling “quietly devastated” but revealed: “I just felt over the last six or seven weeks I was losing my drive. A lot of people within the game would say that whatever I did with Gorleston was always passion-led but I was getting up on a Saturday morning and not looking forward to the match. I didn’t really want to be there any more.”

Daniels, who led the Greens to the ECL Division One title in 2011, teamed up with joint-manager Stuart Larter last November. Together they masterminded the Norfolk Senior Cup final success over Thetford Town at Carrow Road.

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Larter was given sole control last month with Daniels stepping aside for what he described as “the good of the club” to focus on a newly-created director of football post at Emerald Park and his work as vice-chairman.

Daniels stressed that there had been no bust-up or fall-outs with Larter or new club chairman Alan Gordon and backed them both to take the club forward.

“Stuart Larter is a first-class manager.

“He is tactically very astute and he is a very nice bloke – we are very good friends. There are no bad feelings. I would work with Stu again anywhere. Alan Gordon stood by me and I couldn’t have asked for any more. He has got a real vision and burning drive.”

Daniels added: “I was on the phone to Stu straight away at 5.45 on Saturday and I was pleased they won 5-2. I hope they do well, apart from in the two games against us, of course. If Stu is given time by the players and the committee there is no reason why Gorleston Football Club can’t be challenging at the top of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division for many years to come. It’s a well-run club.”

Following Daniels’ shock departure last week Gorleston issued a statement expressing “regret” and thanking him for his work but said the club is looking forward to future challenges. Daniels said his dedication to the Greens had been for love not money. “Apart from the odd phone bill, in four years I didn’t get a penny but I was proud to do it for nothing. I did it for the love of the club.” Daniels son Tom, a former Gorleston defender, has swiftly joined him at Diss. It remains to be seen if other Greens are tempted to follow.