A voluntary football coach has said he is “disgusted and disappointed” at the call out over social media by a football club over claims he was responsible for the folding of an U18s team.

Ibo Ersahin was appointed manager of Rimington FC U18s in June, moving from Langho FC, but last week, the club’s committee posted a statement on their website and social media stating the team had folded after Mr Ersahin took the whole squad back to Langho.

The statement read: "It is with great regret we must announce we are having to fold Rimington U18’s with immediate effect.

"Our manager announced totally unexpectedly, with no prior negotiation, that he was moving the team to another club and all the players would be moving with him.

"Obviously, this was a huge shock to us at Rimington and after further consultation with the players and parents, it was clear that we have been forced into the unfortunate action of folding the team due to having no manager or players. 

"We are extremely disappointed with the manager's personal decision; these are selfish actions, totally disrespectful to Rimington FC, and completely against the spirit of the game.

"Furthermore, this hinders our vision and club ethos about bringing U18s through into adult football and the future of our club, which is what we were working towards from both parties.

"Ultimately, a team of 18-year-old lads wants to play football every Sunday, and with that in the forefront of our minds, we have decided to consent to the change with the league to allow the lads to continue playing and maintain their playing season with as little disruption as possible.

"We, of course, could have refused this given the situation the manager has put us and the players in, but that doesn’t help the players play football.

"Good luck to the lads in the future; hopefully some lads will continue to get a taste of senior football with us this season and beyond.

"Thank you to the parents for your cooperation and understanding, and thanks to the East Lancs Alliance Junior Football League for your understanding and allowing a resolution that allows the lads to continue playing."

However, Mr Ersahin has now hit back saying only one side of the story had been reported, although he refused to go into detail about exactly what had happened between the club committee and himself.

He said: “I am disgusted and disappointed at being called out like this. All the work I put in at Rimington was one sided when I was supposed to be supported by the club.

“I gave up my time every weekend, and every weeknight, replying to parents and opposition referees regarding games, and training those children completely as a volunteer.

“I moved to Rimington with a dangling carrot of promises, but the club has now let down not only me but the 19 children that I have personally coached since the age of nine at Langho FC.

“Rimington unfortunately didn’t uphold all the promises they made to me nor the children and as a coach who has trained these lads to the age of 16, they deserve better and my decision was far from selfish, with them [the lads] completely at the forefront of my mind.

“To be called selfish after selflessly giving up every night/weekend coaching, with the qualification I have fully paid for myself, is an absolute joke.

“I work with several grassroot clubs around the borough and the only issue seems to be with Rimington, because they will never understand how underage football works as a club.

“For me the most important thing about U18s football is development - these children are 15/16 and should not be playing with grown adults when the first team and second team are short of players when U18s have their own league to be focused on.

“As a side note all these U18s never originated at Rimington, they all came with me from Langho FC, so rightly so they are all now overjoyed at going back to Langho.

“The only mistake made here was by myself, which I will hold my hands up to, was that they should have never left Langho.

“I want to say thanks to Langho FC who are absolutely delighted at having us back.”

Terry Braithwaite, chairman of Rimington FC said: "Mr Ersahin approached me personally about bringing a squad of players to the club to take over from the previous youth team who had been with us for three years and finished by winning the league.

"As Ibo had already been playing in our reserve side for several years, therefore known to us, we were excited by the fact that we would still have an U18s team at our club.

"I fail to see how player development for U18s doesn’t include playing adult football?

"Surely that must be a part of it, it just requires good management, and by the way, 15 year olds are not permitted to play adult football, they have to be 16+.

"Four or five of those lads are part of our reserves squad and are really enjoying it.

"For him to say that, 'Rimington will never understand how underage football works', when we have had a youth team for several years, and also had young lads join our club specifically to play adult football, is beyond me.

"We are proud to have helped in the development of players throughout our history.

"Jon Penman is a prime example, but I could name many others (including myself) who started adult football at Rimington and progressed to higher leagues.

"We all want what’s best for those young lads and we wish them, and Ibo, all the best for the rest of the season in the youth league, and I also look forward to seeing some of the lads continuing to develop at Rimington F.C."