WITH the season only just over, the first footballing casualty of the summer has seen Ramsbottom United lose manager Vince Overson, who walked away from the Riverside this week.

"I went over Tuesday night and told them I wouldn't be carrying on," he said.

"I sat down with my wife and discussed things, because I'm doing three jobs at the moment and my first commitment is to my family and then Burnley Football Club, because they pay my wages.

"I help to run their Football in the Community scheme, I coach at their Centre of Excellence and I manage Rammy, I was putting in 14-hour days, six days a week and it was too much.

"To be doing the job properly down at Rammy I needed to be going to watch games at higher levels to spot players and I just didn't have the time to do that.

"I can't devote the amount of time necessary to do the job at Rammy professionally because I've got to earn a living, and managing Ramsbottom United doesn't earn me a living, working for Burnley does.

"I can't afford to give up my Burnley jobs, because they pay the bills, so it had to be Rammy."

The rugged centreback, who will be 42 tomorrow, took over the Rammy hot seat last December and was in charge for 29 games, winning nine, drawing six and losing 14. Previously he had managed Padiham in the North West Counties League second division.

He had a distinguished professional playing career, totalling 633 league and cup games with Burnley, Birmingham, Stoke, Shrewsbury and Halifax.

He at times found it frustrating, trying to instill a professional approach into part-time players and it was undoubtedly a factor, albeit a small one, in his decision to quit.

"I wanted to do things professionally but most of the time only nine lads would turn up for training, which is no good to anybody.

"That's not having a go at them, because they agreed with me and I understand they have commitments, too. But if they are going to go anywhere they have to show more dedication.

"The have real talent but they have to have commitment also, they have do things as a squad, which means everyone has to turn up for training.

"Overall I enjoyed it, things were clicking nicely into place by the end of the season, but I had to decide whether it was worth continuing to put myself under the pressure I was, and from a financial point of view it wasn't, because the longer I spent at Rammy the less time I could devote to my paying jobs, and they were beginning to suffer."

But if another managerial post came along would consider it?

"Yes, I am still interested in management but for the time being I have to paying the bills," he said.

"If I did go for another management job it would have to be at a higher level where I had more control over the players, and where I could devote the time needed to do the job professionally.

"I suppose that would mean the Unibond Premier League or the Conference, or higher. Although I have no intention for applying for Stan Ternent's job at Burnley!"

He admitted it was important to leave Ramsbottom on good terms, and he will continue to help the club throughout the summer.

Club secretary Malcolm Holt admitted Overson's decision had caught the club completely by surprise.

"Yes, it certainly was a bit of a shock," he said.

"We had an informal meeting with him to discuss both pre-season friendlies and next season and he handed his resignation in, it caught us completely off guard.

"He's very well liked. He's fair, honest and professional. He wanted everything done just right and he tried to instill that approach into the players."

Despite the club's mixed fortunes on the pitch, the management committee was looking forward to next season with Overson at the helm.

"He was in charge for about 30 games and it's hard to judge someone over that period of time, so we were looking to do that over the next three years or so," said Holt.

As for an immediate successor - there isn't one.

And in addition to losing the manager, the club could also lose a number of players, as they consider their futures.

"We were all looking forward to next season with Vince in charge, because he really wanted to make a go of it," said winger Gareth Gardiner.

"He had a good team spirit going and things were looking up, even though results towards the end of the season were inconsistent.

"I'd had a few run-ins with him over various things but we got on well, we respected each other and he improved my game, I'll really miss him.

"I've had managers from other clubs ringing me up but I was happy where I was, now I'm not so sure, I'll have to think about it. I know a few lads who will be considering their future with Rammy now Vince has gone."

One of then is striker Lee Buggie.

"I really got on with Vince, I didn't go to Radcliffe Boro because of him," he said.

"He's good with the lads, great to get on with and very, very professional in the way he does things.

"He really helped me as a player, especially when it came to improving my confidence.

"When I was at Bury they'd really get at me if I lost the ball.

"But Vince just encouraged me to go at people and if I lost the ball he just encouraged me even more.

"As long as I did what he asked he was happy for me to play my game.

"I've already had Clitheroe and Newcastle Town on the phone and I'd now be interested in Radcliffe again, I only turned them down last season because I wanted to work with Vince.

"None of us at Rammy are on good money so we'll now have to look at our futures."

Anyone interested in succeeding Overson as manager of Ramsbotton United Football Club should apply in writing to club chairman Harry Williams at 35 Nuttall Lane, Ramsbottom, Lancashire.