Club’s poor form sees manager axed

Tom Bulley says he is ‘disappointed’ and ‘shocked’ after being sacked as Barnstaple Town manager.

Bulley was sacked on Monday following a run of six defeats in eight league games, which has seen Barnstaple drop from second to seventh in the Toolstation Western League First division.

Bulley was unable to stop the team he inherited a year ago from being relegated from the Premier division last season, but his remodelled team had made a good start to the season until their recent slump.

“I just felt we needed someone with a bit more experience,” said club chairman Warren Crossley. “I’m keen to push the club on as much as possible.”

The club also thanked Bulley in an official statement for his role in rebuilding the team.

“The club would like to thank Tom for his dedication and commitment to turning around the fortunes of the club and for playing his part in rebuilding the team over the summer,” it said. “An announcement on a successor will be made as soon as the club is in a situation to do so.”

But 23-year-old Bulley was unhappy with being informed of his dismissal by letter.

“It says a lot that I’ve not been told face to face,” he said. “It seems a bit disrespectful as I’ve done a lot for the club.

“Everything in the way it’s been dealt with has been a disgrace.”

He did, however, feel he could be proud of his time at the club.

“I can be proud of what I’ve done and I’ve had a lot of messages of support from fans, players and people at the club and I wish them all the best.

“Whoever comes in will be inheriting a great team. I always stayed loyal to the club and it has been fantastic to manage them as a local Barnstaple lad.

“It’s hard to take and I’m gutted as I haven’t really had a chance.

“I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me. I’m a bit shocked and surprised but I’m not going to be bitter about it.”