Southern Combination League Premier Division club Loxwood have confirmed that manager Mark Beard has left his role with immediate effect.
Beard undertook his role alongside his coaching positions at Brighton & Hove Albion and the Love The Ball Academy and it is a change to his responsibilities at the former that has led to him stepping down as he will no longer be able to commit to the appropriate time required, particularly on match days.
Beard joined the club when his LTB Academy side became part of the Loxwood FC family at the start of the 2014/15 season and after that first season, where the Sussex County under-18 Cup and Southern Youth Football League titles were secured, he also took on the role of first-team manager.
A UEFA A License coach, he has successful transitioned a number of young players into senior football and adopted a style of play that is revered across the county and has brought with it many memorable moments during his tenure for the Loxwood faithful to treasure.
Chairman Barry Hunter said: “Beardy has been offered an opportunity with Brighton that he couldn’t turn down. We have been extremely proud of having someone of Beardy’s quality and pedigree be a part of our club for such a lengthy period. Not only has he led our senior team but under his management Loxwood won the Sussex Youth Cup and Southern Youth Football League
“I speak for the whole club when I say how much we are going to miss him and how much we wish him every success in his extended role at Brighton.
“Our director of football, Dave Cocoracchio, will take on first-team management duties for the rest of the season, at which point he and I will consider future plans.”
Beard said: “This is a decision I haven’t taken lightly but one that makes most sense for my work and career. I have had four great years at Loxwood, it’s a great club that does things the right way. The addition of a whole junior section this season makes clear their intent to be a great community club.
“I will certainly keep close links with the club and I do wish them continued success. I have loved every minute of my time at Loxwood. I would like to thank my staff for all their hard work and all the players for their efforts over the past few seasons, it’s been a pleasure working with them”.