FORMER Eccleshill United boss Sean Regan has been humbled by the number of messages and tributes following his decision to quit the Northern Counties East League Premier Division club.

Regan led the Eagles to promotion back into the NCEL top tier and they finished last season in the top half of the table.

But he decided he wanted to take a break before seeking new challenges in the game.

The former Liversedge and Thackley manager said: “My decision came as a surprise to many but not so much to some members of the club.

“But since it became known the last couple of weeks have been an unbelievable experience because of the number of messages that I’ve been sent directly or things that have been said on social media indirectly.

“I’ve had messages of support from people I know, people I haven’t seen for years and years and from people I don’t know or who I didn’t know they knew me. And everyone has been really positive which has been overwhelming to be honest.”

The highly qualified coach used to work with the West Riding FA but has held a role with the FA for some years and that commitment is ongoing. Although he is actively seeking new challenges he admits that he doesn’t know what is around the corner for him regarding a return to club football.

Regan came to prominence at Liversedge when he and assistant Billy Miller turned Sedge from perennial relegation escapees to challengers. He had a later spell at Dennyfield as assistant and then joint manager of Thackley.

Having improved both those clubs during his tenure, he has now progressed another of the area’s clubs. Eccleshill are the second club he helped to promotion after being involved in the meteoric rise of Shaw Lane.

Regan added: “I haven’t got any immediate plans but football is a funny game and you never know what’s coming.

“I decided it was time to move on and my last team has got a new manager now (Lee Elam) and I’m happy in the knowledge that he has inherited a good squad.

"I think the team will stay together because they are very loyal and they are good lads, they want to achieve goals for that club.

“They are a really talented group of players and the lads we brought in over the last 18 months raised the bar even higher. It’s a nice job for someone to walk into and I wish Eccleshill United all the best. We were always on a mission to move the club forward and we did.

“The club is in a far better position now than it was three and a half years ago. We had a fantastic run, the most successful in the club’s history, and we had some great times.

“There were some very special moments with some very special players. The lads always responded in a positive, respectful and honest way, with an attitude that any manager would want to achieve any goals set.

"The foundations are there now for the club, even though it took me nearly four years to build such a fantastic squad. We finished higher than any of our Bradford rivals and more than consolidated in our first season back in the Premier.

“Opportunities have arisen for me but it’s got to be the right one, whether that’s today, tomorrow or the end of the year. I’m going to enjoy my time off for now to concentrate on family and work commitments as a PE teacher and things will always pop up. I’m always ready to take on a new challenge.”

The players were certainly sad to see Regan leave and many of them took to social media.

Aran Basi, a defender Regan brought in from Albion Sports, said: “Really sad to hear you have left the club, I would like to thank this man (Regan) for everything he has done in the one season I have played under him. Absolute legend of a coach and enjoyed every second of our time together. I wish you all the best in your next step mate.”