Lee Hodges hails job done by Dave Newton
Truro City player-manager Lee Hodges will be without his "right-hand man" when the Cornish team visit seventh-placed Eastleigh in Blue Square Bet South tonight.
Hodges, 39, has revealed that assistant manager Dave Newton is stepping down from his role so he can spend more time with his family.
Hodges – who is set to play alongside skipper Jake Ash in the centre of defence at Eastleigh – said: "I fully appreciate Newts' reasons for retiring and also know his banter and ability to make people smile will be sorely missed.
"He is 62 and wants to be with his grandchildren at weekends and have some family life away from football.
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"That has been difficult for him up to now because he is always on the road with us – even when we are at home – and weekdays he still has his football coaching [role] at South Devon College.
"Because he lives in south Devon, Newts has to travel nearly 100 miles and over two hours just for our home games, and he comes to training as well. He was planning on calling time on Truro at the end of the season, but I just think the travelling, especially the long days away and the evening trips, have just got to him, really. It's a lot to ask, with all the travelling all the time."
The former Plymouth Argyle coach told Hodges and the players of his decision – with a characteristic joke and smile – on the return journey from last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Eastbourne Borough.
Hodges added: "He is popular with the players and the supporters, and one of the reasons I was able to take the job on as a player-manager was down to him being my right-hand man. He's a special guy."
Looking back at last Saturday, Hodges added: "We should never have lost. The lesson learned is that we have to concentrate fully in defence for every minute because switching off for a second, not marking, is costing us points when we deserve better."
Former Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick will make his third appearance for Truro this evening. The 'keeper he replaced in the City squad, Tim Sandercombe, claimed on Twitter at the end of last week that he had made redundant by hard-up Truro, who remain in administration.
Sandercombe has not yet recovered from a knee injury he sustained at the start of the month, and Hodges said: "I'm disappointed with his tweets.
"I did not want Tim to leave. No one has forced him to leave the club. I had a chat with him, but it seems he has taken advice from his agent which has led to this situation."
Truro City (from): McCormick; Hall, Ash, Hodges, Williams, Broad, Martin, Cooke, Afful, Watkins, Moore, Hopkinson, Carne.