‘I’ll be back’ says Rudy Funk after quitting as Clipstone manager

Rudy Funk has promised 'I'll be back' in football management after walking away from the Clipstone job last week.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 10:41 am

The 64-year-old has already had enquiries, but the departure from the struggling Cobras is still too raw for him to contemplate a new role.

“I didn't really want to leave Clipstone to be perfectly honest,” he said.

“We had a plan. The reason I took the job in the first place was that there would be such a huge end product with this building of the new ground and the regeneration of Clipstone.

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Rudy Funk - ready for the next challenge after leaving Clipstone.

“The development is unbelievable, but I knew the football side would struggle, as they have for a number of years.

“Even from the very early stages I realised there was only one way how to do this.

“Every club in the world has a cycle. Clipstone has obviously fallen into this cycle and the senior side needs to regroup and start from fresh.

“From the first game I knew the club would not get the results it needed to stay in the division.

Rudy Funk with ex-Stags boss Keith Curle after Scarborough had played Notts County.

“Having said that, we tried to exploit every avenue we could with all the connections I have.

“But players did not want to come to a relegation side and I respect that. They said they would come when the club was ready.”

Funk said relegation would be painful but the best thing for Clipstone in the long run.

“If we stayed up I knew we would have another battle ahead again next year and they would be better going a division down and starting afresh and lay the right foundations. It was a fantastic opportunity to build,” he said.

Rudy Funk with AFC chairman Andy Saunders as he joins the Bulls.

“I think some people thought I would go there and just make it happen overnight. But this is not a one season problem.

“It has been going on for a number of years there and you have to rebuild and restart and regroup.

“I explained this and everyone seemed to be nodding in the right direction but one or two people probably got a little bit uneasy and thought if we were relegated it would be the end of the world.”

He continued: “Relegation is the right way forward for the club - 100 per cent.

Rudy Funk is sent off during the AFC Mansfield v Tadcaster Albion game.

“And I was the right man for the job, there is no two ways about it as I have experience and I know how to build from scratch. But a lot of people probably got impatient.

“After Tuesday's game there were a few things said to me and I just said 'let me make this easy for you' and walked away. I left there and then.

“We were losing games, we struggled big time for players and there are a lot of young players. When you're in a relegation battle you need a lot of seniority.

“I had quite a few senior players come down but they said they couldn't play with such inexperienced players. That's the reality of it.

“Even Sir Alex Ferguson could have done nothing about it. There is not enough manpower there who have the know-how to get out of a relegation battle.

“I have been over 20 years as a manager. I know players inside out and I know players in every quarter of England. They just didn't fancy it.

“On top of that, if you want to get out of big trouble you need the finance as well and the players needed and the finances Clipstone have did not match up.”

With eight promotions to his name, Funk is unlikely to be out of management for long.

“At every club I've ever been I've always liked to take them from nowhere to somewhere. That's my pedigree and what I'm good at,” he said.

“Now I am waiting for the next opportunity that comes along and see where it takes us from there.

“I have already had people phoning me up but at this moment in time it is still fresh and I am little bit downbeat as I have seen some fantastic things happening at Clipstone.

“I am disappointed as I never had intention to leave. Cest la vie! I am free and single now.

“I have had eight promotions, one as a player in Romania, and seven as a manager, one at Teversal, three at Rainworth, one at Scarborough and two at AFC Mansfield and I took Rainworth, AFC Mansfield and Scarborough to the EvoStik Northern Premier League.

“They had the best man on the job. I had a plan and it would have made Clipstone great again.”

Funk continues to enjoy management, though is surprised at the lack of help other clubs give each other these days.

“I was about 40 when I started managing,” he said.

“And I have been very lucky to have people like John Ramshaw, Brian Chambers, and the great Keith Alexander in this particular area here and they were all great advisors and great people. I earned my badges and never looked back.

“One thing I have found extremely difficult is that, after so many years, I rang dozens and managers while at Clipstone and nobody wants to help you nowadays. It's 'what if someone gets injured?' and comments like that.

“That has probably been my biggest learning curve while at Clipstone. No one wants to give you a helping hand, yet I have always tried to help other people out.

“The only person who really gave me a helping hand was (AFC Mansfield chairman) Andy Saunders, who let me sign a couple of players and he was very good. Apart from that it was very difficult.

“Like Arnold Schwarzenegger – I'll be back!”