'The news came as a surprise' - shock as Jordan Gracie quits as Hawick Royal Albert manager
A Hawick Royal Albert official has spoken of his shock at the sudden resignation of Jordan Gracie as manager.
Gracie – under whom Albert finished bottom of East of Scotland League 1st division conference B last season – informed a club official on Tuesday that he had quit, with Hawick Royal Albert swiftly advertising the newly vacant manager’s post on the East of Scotland Football League website.
"The news came as a surprise,” Albert secretary Dougie Purves told The Southern Reporter. “Because why start pre-season training if you’re not going to be there?
"Jordan came in late last pre-season and we made it clear that he was under no pressure for last season but we would be looking to improve in the second season.
"This pre-season, Jordan had players in mind that he wanted to bring in. He had them training but I don’t know if any of them had signed.
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"We have 10 players signed for next season. But we just have to get on with it.
"There are a lot of boys on holiday who may sign on their return.”
In terms of appointing a new manager, Purves said that the club would be hopeful of bringing someone in ahead of the new league season starting on Saturday, July 30.
"We might have to bring in an interim manager before that just to keep everybody ticking over,” he revealed.
"We are not rushing into appointing somebody.”
Following league reconstruction, Albert – whose goalkeeper Sam Scott was this week expected to leave to join Tranent Juniors – will be playing their trade in the EoS second division in the 2022-23 campaign.
"Preferably we would be looking for the new manager to be somebody from the borders,” Purves added.
"I think now with all the changes in the leagues that it has to be somebody that’s got East of Scotland experience.
"The main ambition we are looking for the new manager to achieve is not to be in the bottom four because I think there are four teams being relegated.
"We don’t want to fall any further as we have come from the Lowland League three or four years ago right down to where we are now. We have had two relegations since then."
When asked if he thought that Albert could in future years be playing at Lowland League level again, Purves gave a candid response.
"I feel just now that geographically our position is against us,” he said. “I think we are the furthest south team in the East of Scotland set-up.
"And with all those new junior teams coming into the East of Scotland League, players can get clubs closer to home.
"And the locals, the borders players, a lot of them are just happy to be playing at border amateur level.
"In terms of border teams now in the East of Scotland League, we are now down to Coldstream, Hawick, Peebles and Vale of Leithen.
"There also used to be Duns, Kelso, Eyemouth and they have all gone through the same problem – getting players.”
Applicants for the Albert manager’s job must have at least a Scottish FA 'C' Licence.
Interested parties should contact Purves in the first instance on 07862 295028 or email [email protected]
The Southern Reporter attempted to contact departing boss Gracie but he hadn’t replied at time of going to press.