Hawick Royal Albert manager Atai ‘let go’

Former Hawick Royal Albert assistant manager, now manager, Dean Shanks, with sacked manager Mike Atai.
Former Hawick Royal Albert assistant manager, now manager, Dean Shanks, with sacked manager Mike Atai.

Hawick Royal Albert moved quickly to sack manager Mike Atai last Sunday in an attempt to stabilise the dressing room.

The club, which is enjoying its best start to the season in many years, have placed assistant manager Dean Shanks in his place, and coach Dean Roberston as assistant manager.

Atai told our sister paper The Hawick News last week that he felt he had been “stabbed in the back”.

He said: “I was informed on the Sunday by phone when I was in Belgium that I had been sacked.

“I just couldn’t beleive it. I just couldn’t take it in ... I’m baffled.

“The team had been playing well and results had been quite good.

“I was happy with the way things were going, but unknown to me, Dean Shanks, Barry Campbell (head of football operations at the club) and Dean Robertson did not like the way I was running the side.

“They gave the committee the ultimatum that they would leave or I should. The committee went with them.

“It’s not the committee’s fault and I’d like to thank them for their support while I was with the club. However, I feel there has been a lot of back-stabbing going on and I’ve been betrayed.”

Mr Campbell told The Southern: “Mike was let go last week. Some guys said they felt they couldn’t work with Mike, and the situation couldn’t continue.

“We have been going well, but Mike was just a part of the management team. We felt we had to make the change for the benefit of the club, in order that we could continue to progress.

“We have the best Hawick team for a long time, but we were looking for more stability.

“Not one of the players have left with Mike, so we have their support, the support of the committee, and what is hugely satisfying, the support of the public, who have said how much they enjoy the way we are playing.”

Hawick’s first two games under the new management team seem to have gone well, a 3-2 win over Ormiston last Wednesday and a 5-2 thumping of Craigroyston on Saturday.