GARY ROBERTS has quit as manager of Cambridge City following the start of pre-season after 13 years at the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier club.
Roberts took the reins at City in January 2003, replacing David Batch, and led the club into the newly formed Conference South in 2004.
The Lilywhites remained at Step 2 until the end of the 2007-08 season when they were demoted back to the Southern Premier due to ground grading issues despite finishing 13th.
The club have struggled to compete at Step 3 since leaving their City Ground home in 2013, sharing at Histon and St Ives while they wait for their new ground in Sawston to be completed.
It’s been a tough summer for Roberts, with the boss seeing skipper Buster Harradine, veteran defender Lee Chaffey, goalkeeper Zac Barrett, midfielder Ieuan Lewis and striker James Hall all leave.
And he has decided to step down as manager after over a decade of service, although he does hope to remain with City in another capacity.
He told the club’s website: “I feel that the time has come to review the role of first team manager. The main reasons are that this summer has been particularly difficult for me.
“First, on a personal level as my wife has been very ill and secondly the club has been working under financial constraints which has meant that player recruitment has been harder than usual.
“Although the budgetary constraints have now been resolved I still felt the time was right to approach the chairman and the board to inform them that there should be a new approach so that we can begin the season with a fresh start.
“The last 13 years have been fantastic for me and it has been a great journey. It hasn’t been easy given what has happened off the field but I still do love Cambridge City.
“With that in mind I have offered my services to assist in an alternative role within the club and I am pleased that the board will consider my offer.”
Chairman Kevin Satchell added: “The board met with Gary on Wednesday after he indicated he wished to discuss his position. I accept that that it has been a difficult summer for him both on a personal level and in terms of player recruitment.
“I would like to place on record the fantastic demonstration of loyalty and commitment that Gary has displayed during his time as manager.
“He has delivered a number of memorable moments, and has consistently provided on the field stability which has not been easy given the off the field troubles that have formed a backdrop to the club in the last ten years.”