Whitehill Welfare were left shocked last week when manager Grant Carnie quit after just 11 months in charge of the Rosewell club.
Despite only talking to the board about next season at a committee meeting last Monday, Carnie handed in his resignation on Wednesday, the morning after a disappointing 3-1 defeat at bottom side Threave Rovers.
Whitehill Welfare president Alan Ramsay told the Advertiser of his shock at the departure.
He said: “There was no inclination that this was coming. We had a committee meeting on Monday night talking about the games coming up and personnel for next season. Then we got notification on Wednesday that he was stepping down, and that was it.
“The secretary spoke to him, I spoke to him, one of the senior players spoke to him. But he has made his mind up.
“Maybe the manner in which we lost on Tuesday night was enough for him. They are the bottom side and their only six points have come against us. So I don’t know for sure if that was why he made the decision the next morning to leave the club.
“We had a bad loss against Edinburgh University recently too. But we played well against Gala Fairydean Rovers, winning 3-0, and it could have been more.
“We want to be at the top again, challenging the likes of Edinburgh City and Spartans for the league. Which we had hoped over time Grant would do. I would just like to thank Grant for his hard work and effort in his 11 months here. We wish him all the best.”
Mr Ramsay insisted that with the team sitting mid-table and still in with the chance of silverware, Carnie had his full backing during a “transition period” at the club.
He said: “We are disappointed. There was no pressure whatsoever from the committee for him to leave. There was no complaints from us about how he was doing.
“Yes, like any football club, you get grumblings from some fans. But we were right behind him. We had replaced so many players for this season. We knew it was going to be a bit of a transition period and we were totally realistic about that.
“We are still in the South Challenge Cup, so there is still the chance of silverware on the table. And, we could still possibly finish third or fourth in the table, so we were quite happy. It was a total shock when he resigned.”
The club have been heartened by the interest in the vacancy. Speaking last Friday, the Whitehill president said: “We have already had two applications in writing and I just had someone on the phone. Our secretary has had the same. We will go through each application and look at it on its merit.
“We have been encouraged by the interest that is still there in the club.”