Mickey Lawson has cited differences of opinion with some of Whitehill Welfare’s committee members as one of the main factors in his departure from the club.
Welfare went down 2-0 at home to champions Edinburgh City on Wednesday and immediately released a statement confirming Lawson’s departure after three years at Ferguson Park in his third spell at the club.
Lawson admitted that there had been issues between himself and committee members all season and that the decision, if not the timing, wasn’t a complete shock. “I’ve had differences of opinion with one or two of the committee members since I came back really, even when things were going great,” he said. “At the end of the day, you just get on with it and all I can do is shake hands and thank them for the opportunity to manage them. I’m also glad I was able to set up the link with Edinburgh South [a player pathway partnership for youngsters].
“I would say that in 25 years of management that I haven’t had to deal with what I have this season in getting a team on the park. With injuries, illness to players and family members it’s been a nightmare. You saw on Wednesday night that we had two of our Under-20s starting and another four on the bench, including a keeper. They’re going to have to bring in more players and with the Lowland League getting more competitive I fear for the future, although I would say there’s more problems off the pitch than on it.”
Lawson also revealed he didn’t see himself taking on another management post.
“It’s unlikely” he said. “Without being disrespectful, having managed Whitehill and Spartans, who else am I going to manage in East of Scotland football? I’m not saying I can pick and choose but I don’t want to stay in the game for the sake of staying in the game. I’ll certainly sleep a lot easier and it means I can spend more time with my two boys, and more time in Majorca!”
Striker Wayne McIntosh played regularly under Lawson and, while he acknowledged the players had to shoulder some responsibility for results this season, he felt the time was maybe right for a change.
“There’d been some talk recently about the way things had been going and a couple of players hadn’t been happy with a few things. Its just one of these things,” he said. “That’s football, it happens all over the country. We’ve not been good enough, our discipline hasn’t been good enough and that’s not all Mickey’s fault – that’s down to the boys too.
“We just needed a change I think and I can sort of see where they’re coming from, but I feel a bit bad for Mickey. He’s trying to do the best he can with the boys he’s had available. Things were maybe just getting a wee bit stale. One or two of the boys maybe disagreed with some of things Mickey did but at the end of the day he was the manager.”
The club hope to name a replacement by the weekend when they face Gala Fairydean Rovers. Craigroyston manager Grant Carnie is a name that’s been mentioned, someone McIntosh knows. “I’ve heard the word on the street is that we’ve approached Grant. He coached us when Rab Paget was here and he took over. He’s a good lad and he’ll have ambitions himself and Whitehill’s a big club. He can maybe bring a few boys in and shake things up a wee bit, which is what we’re needing.”