....step down from his role as first-team manager with immediate effect.
Barker has spent 20
years of his life playing football with the majority of that at St Margaretsbury,
firstly as a player, where he was later joined by his brother Stevie to create
a defensive pairing that was at the heart of the team's robustness.
He clocked up 400
appearances during season 2009/10, eventually taking up the first-team manager's
role in season 2015/16 in very difficult circumstances.
In his first season
in charge, he had to practically re-build three senior teams at very short notice
after players left to follow the previous manager.
St Margaretsbury had
two more challenging seasons to build on that and establish a regular squad and
foothold in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division table.
Then came the
mandatory switch to the Essex League this season which was another factor that
disrupted the process as some players switched clubs to stay playing, or take
up a manager's role, within the SSML.
But Barker leaves
the team in thirteenth place in the league, having played seven games and have
played three teams that are currently top of the table.
And with a squad of
quality players - that although struggling to fire on all cylinders right now –
the club have every faith they will show their quality as the season
Chairman Gary Stock
said: “A heartfelt thanks to John for his commitment and sacrifices made over
“As a result of
John's decision, we are pleased to announce that we have appointed Max Mitchell
to the first-team manager role - effective immediately.
“Max is an
experienced and accomplished player, and one season in, already an intrinsic
part of the management team. So, we have appointed Max with confidence, and he
has our full backing and support as he starts his new venture. Congratulations
Max - Good luck to you and the players in your first game as manager on
Saturday, and as we move through the season”.