Player manager Rhodri Giggs and assistant manager Phil Melville resigned from Salford City last night with two games still to go before the end of the season.
Giggs was due to attend the Player of the Season Awards following the victory against Ossett Albion but, instead drove away from the Moor Lane stadium having resigned, according to members of the Salford City board, without any explanation or notice that this was coming.
Salford City have been through a poor run of form since the New Year with top players leaving almost on a weekly basis. Any hope that the Ammies would hit the play-offs disappeared weeks ago, with the club languishing in mid table.
Rhodri Giggs, with his goals and management, certainly brought the spark back to Salford City since his appointment in October 2010 (see here). The former Salford Star Salford Sports Personality of the Year (see here and see here) almost took Salford to the highest ever finish in the club's history last season, missing out only on goal difference. And this season, despite the pressure of personal problems, Giggs pushed the Ammies to aspire to a top four finish until a dramatic loss of the team's form post Christmas.
Rhodri leaves on a high after a 3-1 battering of Ossett Albion - Osebi Abadaki striking a first early on, a low cross deflected into the net off an Ossett defender, followed by a second mid way through the half, chesting the ball down and hitting a stunning volley into the net.
A third goal came before half time, Chris Curley lobbing the dazed Ossett keeper from the edge of the penalty area. With the half time score at 3-0, Salford fans waited for the avalanche of goals after the break. But they didn't come. And it was Ossett who pulled a goal back early in the second half to make it 3-1.
Salford went close to increasing the lead when the Ossett keeper touched a rocket shot onto the bar, while Osebi Abadaki, one on one with the goalie, almost completed his deserved hat trick but the keeper got his knees in the way to block the shot. Steve Burke did get the ball in the net but the effort was ruled offside, while sub James Green put a late effort inches wide of the post. Final score 3-1 and Rhodri Giggs drove into the Salford sunset.
At the Player of the Season Awards after the game, Darren Hockehull was voted Fans' Player of the Season, while Josh Bardsley won Rhodri Giggs' Manager's Player of the Season.
As news of Rhodri's departure spread amongst fans in the club house, impressionist Mike Maguire, who was providing the evening's entertainment, offered to be Salford City's new boss - `Who do you want on the touchline?' he asked `I can be Mick McCarthy, Trevor Brooking, Alex Ferguson?...'
At this point in time, with games on Tuesday (top of the table Fylde away) and Saturday (play off hunting Whitton Albion away) anyone will do – offers to Salford City FC…
And thanks Rhodri for some top times…
Photos by Gareth Lyons
Salford City FC has now issued a club statement...
"Everyone involved with Salford City would like to thank both Rhodri and Phil for their efforts and wish them both all the best for the future. Club Captain Darren Hockenhull will take control of team matters for the remaining two fixtures."