Struggling Alfreton Town sack manager McDermott

Manager John McDermott, who has been sacked by Alfreton Town. (PHOTO BY: Eric Gregory)
Manager John McDermott, who has been sacked by Alfreton Town. (PHOTO BY: Eric Gregory)

Relegation-threatened Alfreton Town have parted company with manager John McDermott in a bid to save their season.

Alfreton have also announced that assistant manager Karl Lenighan and first-team coach Chris Millington have left the club too.

The decision to sack the trio follows a disappointing campaign that sees the Reds languishing in the bottom five of the Vanarama National League North table after 14 defeats in 25 matches. They sit just two points above next-to-bottom Gainsborough Trinity after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by fellow strugglers Darlington on Saturday.

Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley said: “I want to thank John and his backroom staff for their efforts during their time at Alfreton Town. The season has not shaped the way we wanted. It’s been a tough season so far, and it makes sense for all to move on.

“John, Karl and Chris go with our best wishes for the future, but this was a decision the club had to make.”

A former professional player, McDermott was appointed Reds boss in May 2017 after his departure from the position of director of football at Cleethorpes Town.

As a player, he was a right-back from 1987 to 2007, spending his entire 20-year career at Grimsby Town, where he holds the club’s all-time appearance record, having played 647 league games and 754 games overall for the Mariners.

McDermott is one of only 17 players in the history of English football to play more than 600 Football League matches for a single club. He also received the PFA Merit Award in 2009, one of the highest accolades a player can achieve.

After retiring from playing in April 2007, he began coaching at the Grimsby Institute Academy before being appointed assistant manager at Harrogate Town in 2010.

McDermott made several high-profile signings during his time at Alfreton, including Craig Disley, Brendon Daniels and Bradley Wood.

However, results have contributed to a difficult campaign, leaving the Reds in 18th place, just a point clear of the drop zone, less than two years after they were competing in the top tier of the National League.