AFC EMLEY are looking for a new manager after parting company with Ian Banks by mutual consent.
The former Town midfielder departs along with assistant Grant Crookes after two seasons at the Welfare Ground, both of which have brought disappointing eighth-placed finishes for the ambitious Northern Counties East League First Division club.
Things looked good for Banks (nicknamed Banger) and his players at the turn of the year, when AFC were second in the table having produced a shock Sheffield Senior Cup win over Worksop Town.
But a run of just three league wins in 16 killed off hopes of a much-wanted promotion.
Having met chairman Graham Roys, Banks, 49, said: "The fans have been fantastic, patient and supportive throughout my time at the club and I am sorry to be leaving them behind when there is the potential to achieve success.
"I would also like to thank the players – they have been a great set of lads to manage – as well as my assistant Grant Crookes who has worked tirelessly throughout the last two years.
"My feeling is that the side needs a few new faces to take it forward and perhaps it is the right time to bring in a new manager with some fresh ideas."
Roys, speaking on behalf of the club committee, said: "We would like to thank Ian and Grant for all of their hard work at the club over the last two years.
"Unfortunately this has not achieved promotion to the Premier Division – a target we both set for ourselves."
"We have seen some great football played over the last two years and some terrific results. Both Ian and Grant will be held in high regard here at Emley as they have given their all to the club and they will always be welcome back at the Welfare Ground."
Banks, who also played for Barnsley, Leicester, West Brom, Rotherham and Darlington, is a popular figure at the Welfare ground, having also played for and managed the original Emley (now Wakefield FC).
The timing of Banks’ departure gives the club the maximum time to appoint a replacement, with potential candidates asked to contact club secretary John Whitehead on 07850 957161 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
While AFC’s first-team fixtures are finished, the reserves have a key West Riding County Amateur League Division II clash with Westbrook YMCA at the Welfare Ground on Friday (7.30).