Westcott’s move to Bury signals the end of an era

PLAYER-MANAGER ERA: Martin Westcott spent two-and-a-half seasons with Borough as a player-manager but stood down in the summer due to work and family commitments
PLAYER-MANAGER ERA: Martin Westcott spent two-and-a-half seasons with Borough as a player-manager but stood down in the summer due to work and family commitments
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The manager largely credited with Borough’s promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division has transferred to Team Bury, following his resignation over the summer.

Martin Westcott stood down from the role of Borough manager over the summer, citing work and family commitments as he said if ‘he couldn’t give the job his all, he couldn’t do it at all’.

But the centre-forward stayed on as a player, to help a new manager and the team as they embarked on their first-ever season in the Thurlow Nunn top flight.

And, following that smooth transition to Anthony Choat, he feels it is now time to move on — jumping straight in as he made his first appearance for the First Division team at the weekend.

He said it was a ‘shame to leave’ Borough but that he was also ‘very happy to go on and play at Team Bury’ — and he didn’t rule out a return to The New Croft in the future as ‘you just never know’.

The 39-year-old admitted he ‘probably didn’t have many years left to play’ and so was keen to take Team Bury up on the offer when they came knocking in June.

“They got in touch back when I finished as manager of Borough, to see if I would be interested in coming to play for them,” he said.

“I was interested, but said no then for a number of reasons.

“I knew how unfit I had got, as I hadn’t played for a while, and wanted to boost that before trying to play.

“And I also wanted to be a part of the team under Anthony, to enjoy our success and to see if there was anything I could do to help.

“My job at Borough is done, I’ve handed the reins over to Anthony and feel the club is in a good place for the future.

“The time has come for the new manager to go his own way and for me to go mine.”

Westcott has been playing for the Borough Reserves on a regular basis, to build his fitness.

“When I became manager, it became very hard to play, and I missed it,” he added.

“I almost became a victim of our own success as the team were doing so well.

“I couldn’t really justify my own selection just to get a game.

“And I didn’t want to shake up a dynamic that was clearly working well.”

He said that Borough, as a small club with no budget, required a lot of input from the manager, as they had to fulfil a number of roles that other managers did not have to.

This included a high turnover of players, he said, as clubs often poached their best footballers with higher wage offers.

As such, the job had required five or six days of his time per week — a full-time job — and playing had been the thing to suffer most.

“I probably don’t have many years left to play so I want to take full advantage while I can,” he said.

“I hope I can bring some experience and knowledge to Team Bury.

“I have been fortunate to play for a number of years at this level and hopefully I can use this experience to help.”

Westcott has already debuted for the Ram Meadow-based team — playing first on Saturday, coming on as a substitute in the team’s 3-1 win against Needham Market Reserves.

He then also played in Tuesday’s away tie to Halstead Town, netting his first goal on his first start for his new team, in their 2-1 win.

Joseph Paton scored Team Bury’s second on his debut.