West Yorkshire League: Wells quits as Knaresborough Town Reserves manager

Jeff Wells and his Reserve side

Jeff Wells and his Reserve side

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Knaresborough Town Reserve manager Jeff Wells has sensationally left the club despite leading his side to back-to-back promotions to the West Yorkshire Premier Division.

Wells announced yesterday that he had resigned from his role and that Steve Donoghue would be taking over in his place.

The news comes just days after his side produced a spirited performance in a 4-3 away defeat to high-flying Bardsey.

In a short statement, Wells said: “I appreciate everybody at the club and my time at Knaresborough Town has been excellent.”

The Reserves had enjoyed a prosperous spell under Wells’ stewardship and currently find themselves just one division below the first team.

Despite the team’s success this season, Wells had voiced concerns about some of his players being unavailable for matches after being called up to play for the first team.

During an injury crisis for the first team, reserve team players including Brad Walker and Rob Mortimer were called up to the first team to face Clipstone on Saturday, September 27.

With a weakened team, Wells’ reserve side lost 2-1 at home to rivals Wetherby Athletic, resulting in a five game winless streak for his side.

Speaking after the match, Wells said: “This is the problem with being a reserve team as we regularly have to top the first team up. This weekend we had to start with two 17-year-olds up front.”

However, Wells’ side have performed well this season and he leaves them in seventh place, on 15 points in their first season in the division.

Wells oversaw his reserve side dramatically clinch promotion from Division One last season on the final day of the season with a 1-0 victory over Wyke Wanderers.

That result meant his side leapfrogged rivals Old Modernians and Ilkey Town to clinch second place and a spot in the Premier Division.

Wells called the achievement ‘amazing’, especially considering that Knaresborough’s first team had only left the same division two seasons ago.

A message on Knaresborough Town’s official website bid farewell to Wells and thanked him for his hard work and development of the club.

The message read: “The club, and I’m sure everyone connected with it, would like to place on record our deep appreciation of the work that Jeff has done.

“He has made a huge contribution towards development, in terms of football, at the club, we wish him all the very best and he will always be welcome down at Manse Lane, where we hope to see him very soon.”