Leaving Cheddar was one of ‘toughest decisions’ ever says former boss Potter
- Credit: Archant
Former Cheddar manager Shaun Potter called resigning from The Cheesemen as ‘one of the toughest decisions’ ever made after ending his three-year spell in charge of the club.
Potter began working as Cheddar assistant coach, after coaching Weston’s under-18s and 19s, before he was appointed Jared Greenhalgh’s successor in October 2017.
He went onto manage Cheddar 114 times, with 64 wins, 20 draws and 30 losses in the Toolstation Western League, FA Cup and FA Vase.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make, the club is like my second home and second family, the people on and off the pitch,” began Potter.
“Not many things in life are more important to me than football, I’ve lived and breathed it my whole life, but family is, and at this moment in time I need to be there for my family and sadly football had to be sacrificed. I ;ove the club and that won’t stop because I’m not managing it.
“I had some friends playing for the club and they asked me to come in and assist Jared and I’ve loved it from day one. I knew it was a club I would be able to implement my style of football with as we had, and still have, very good footballers.
“The club was well run off the pitch and had a great family feel to it. It was a perfect start for me in my managerial career in terms of the men’s game and I’ve loved it ever since.”
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Potter says he really enjoyed his time in charge of the club, having led Cheddar to their first ever FA Cup victory in 2018-19, which he called ‘unbelievable’ and a ‘great achievement’ before finishing second in the League in the same campaign, only to be denied promotion on points per game ratio.
“That was a great season, we were told we needed to finish top two to go up and the goalposts moved so we weren’t rewarded for our hard work. That being said, we were very good that season and it was a pleasure to be a part of,” added Potter.
“It has been brilliant, I’ve loved my time there and hope to return one day, I’m proud to have managed them for a three-year period.
“I’d like to think I’ve improved the club and improved some individual players, I’ve worked with some really good lads and been able to watch them progress and improve, that’s a side of it I probably enjoy most.
“I’ve got some great memories, beating Bridgwater Town in the FA Cup was up there, some great battles in the league with clubs that have been in and around this level for a long time, some really good title runs, there have been so many good memories.
“But what stands out was the winning run we went on when I came in, we were rock bottom and strung together some great performances and looked unbeatable, within a few months we were top. “That meant a lot because it meant the lads were responding to what I was doing and I was under pressure to prove to the club, the players and myself that I was ready to be at that level.”
Despite leaving, Potter has been greeted with messages of encouragement all over social media, which has left him overwhelmed by each one he has received.
“It is really nice, I’ve had some nice messages from fellow managers in the league, people around the club and friends and family, I think people know how much it means to me and know I wouldn’t have taken this decision lightly,” he said.
“It’s nice to be spoken about in a positive light, I’m sure a few referees in the league may be glad for the break, though!”
And Potter was full of praise for the Cheddar supporters and wife Kaysha for the support they have given him since his announcement and for the last three years.
He said: “They’ve been brilliant for me, always supported me, never put any pressure on me, through wins and losses, they still travel home and away and their support is massively appreciated by me, they are the heart and soul of the club and they will be there long after current players and management have gone.
“I want to thank my wife too, without her making it possible I wouldn’t have been able to do the job at all, she listens and takes interest and gets the moody version of me for days after a loss.
“She holds the fort at home with the kids while I’m away all day on Saturdays and midweek and not getting home until midnight, as well as being constantly doing something football orientated on my phone the rest of the week.”
But Potter has promised he will always look to improve himself and he will be back when things improve.
“I’m relatively young as a manager and have gained some invaluable experience during my time in the Toolstation. My aim now is to focus on family,” he said.
“Once things settle. I will continue to learn, I’m in touch regularly with some great coaches in the game that will help me develop, so I’m hoping to continue learning before coming back into the game.”