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Change At Loxwood Helm

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Southern Combination League Premier Division club Loxwood FC`s director of football and first-team manager Dave Cocoracchio has announced he will be stepping down at the end of this season, due to personal reasons.

This marks the end of a long-term and highly successful relationship with the club.

Cocoracchio will be replaced by Gareth Neathy, who has been the assistant-manager to the first and under-18 teams this season.

Outgoing chairman Barry Hunter told the club`s Pitchero website: “The club has nothing but praise and appreciation for the contribution Dave has made to the club both on and off the park during his seven-year tenure.

“On a personal level I want to thank Dave for his leadership, competitiveness and achievements he has delivered as our first-team manager. Dave took the club to new horizons, firstly by winning our first senior trophy as Division Two cup winners in 2013/14 before leading us to promotion the following season, into the Premier league of Sussex County football, for the first time in our history, where we have regularly finished top eight.

“As director of football, Dave has also overseen the development and integration of the junior and youth side of the club, including the 2014/15 double winning under-18’s. During his tenure Dave also took the club to the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup. Off the park, Dave has been central to a lot of the drive and energy that has given the club the momentum it has needed to compete as a Step 5 club.”

Incoming chairman, Mark Lacey added: “We fully understand Dave’s reasons for stepping down and we wish him every future success. Dave has been instrumental in helping me find a suitable replacement and I am delighted to announce that Gareth Neathy will become the clubs new first-team manager.

“Gareth has been a part of team management at the club for four years now, both in the youth and senior sections, where he supported Dave as assistant-manager to both the first-team and under-18’s this season. Gareth is local and knows County league football well, both as a player and manager. More importantly, Gareth knows Loxwood well, our DNA and our ambitions as a club and I believe he will bring important continuity to the role, something we really value”.

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