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Tributes paid to departed Magpies manager

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Peacehaven & Telscombe have paid tribute to former manager Shaun Saunders following his departure from the Ryman Premier's Magpies.

Saunders stood down as manager at Christmas for personal reasons and left The Sports Park for good last week after eight years at the Sussex club in search of a fresh start and a return to management.

Magpies chairman Brian Suckling and Saunders' successor, current manager Tony Coade, both paid tribute to the man who guided the club into the Ryman League only a year after taking the helm during the 2011-12 campaign.

Last season he went on to lead the Magpies into the Ryman's top flight as runaway Ryman South champions, dumbfounding the newly promoted club's critics along the way and setting a new record points total of 107.

Suckling said: "As everyone knows, Shaun’s achievements have been nothing short of fantastic. Everyone at the club is indebted for all he has done and our sincere best wishes go with him. He will always receive a warm welcome at this club.”

Coade said: “We’ve had a fantastic time under Shaun. He brought me to the club three years ago and I’ve enjoyed working with him and I’m sad to see him go. I wish him all the best for whatever he does in the future.”

Saunders, pictured at Brighton's Amex Stadium after his side also won the Sussex Senior Cup last May, originally arrived from Whitehawk when the Magpies were in the Sussex County League Division Two.

In April 2012 Saunders lost his son Connor, who was also one of the club's players, when he was killed while enjoying a night out with friends.

In the wake of the tragedy, Saunders set up the Connor Saunders Foundation which has raised thousands since the death of the 19-year-old for good causes including the provision of defibrillators for a number of Ryman League clubs.

In an article on their official website paying tribute to him Saunders, whose side also beat East Preston at the start of the season to win the Sussex County FA's inaugural Community Shield, said: “I need a fresh start. My time at this club has run its course. The last eight years have been an amazing and emotional period for me.

“I’m currently talking to a couple of clubs and want to get back into management. I’m happy to be leaving on good terms with everyone at the club and I look forward to visiting the club in the future.”

Source: www.isthmian.co.uk

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