SHETLAND football team manager John Johnson has resigned in the same week that it was confirmed the team would be travelling to next year’s Island Games in Åland.
Johnson, who had been in the post since October 2006, is stepping down because of work commitments which meant he would not be able to commit the time to preparing the squad for the 2009 season.
It was agreed at a team meeting on Monday evening that Shetland would send a side to compete in the Island Games, but Johnson indicated that he would be unable to commit to training the team over the winter and subsequently wrote to SFA president Magnus Flaws to say he would not be continuing as manager.
He has enjoyed a broadly successful time in the post, taking the Shetland team into competitive action on the UK mainland for the first time when the team entered the Highland League Challenge Cup earlier this year, and winning both inter-county matches against Orkney, though the team chose not to enter last year’s Island Games in Rhodes to defend the title they famously won here in 2005.
Mr Flaws, who had a disagreement with Johnson prior to the team’s friendly with Deveronvale in June over the matter of a match-day programme, said he had accepted Johnson’s resignation letter and had “no problems with him at all”.
“Your work comes before everything else,” he said. “It’s a pity, but work has to come first. It’s his decision so we just have to go on, we’re committed to going to Åland next year, we need to get a manager, get a team together, get underway with fundraising [and] hopefully go there and compete.”
Possible successors include Delting’s John Jamieson, who has overseen seven league titles for the Brae side, and Flaws said he hoped to have a replacement in mind before the association’s AGM, to be held on 6th November.