CARL ADAMS described his departure from Stratford Town as the “end of an era” – but it was the right time for a new adventure.
Adams resigned on Tuesday after six years of unparalleled success – steering Town from the Midland Alliance to mid-table in the Southern Premier and becoming the most successful manager in the club’s 70-year history.
Within 24 hours he was appointed manager of Rugby Town, succeeding Dave Stringer at the Midland League Premier Division club.
Adams admitted uncertainty over his future at the MoodChimp Stadium as the club looks for new investors had prompted the decision to look for a new challenge.
A consortium led by former Solihull Moors director Steve Shipway has been linked with Town.
“I’m leaving Stratford with a lot of pride for what I’ve achieved at the club,” said Adams. “But it’s the right time to move on.
“It’s been a tremendous journey over the past six years but the club is looking to go in a different direction and I didn’t feel part of that. They couldn’t give me any guarantees about the future.
“I leave the club with a heavy heart. I’ve made a lot of friends and there are some good people there. There’s been a lot of hard work to get where we are.
“It’s the end of an era but I leave on good terms and I’ll always have great memories of my time there.”
In particular, 45-year-old Adams saluted the efforts of former chairman Craig Hughes and assistant Paul Eden.
Adams, who initially joined Town alongside Morton Titterton in August 2012, took over when illness forced Titterton to step down and led Town to the Midland Alliance title. After finishing tenth in their debut season in Southern South & West, they were third the following season and won promotion via the play-offs after beating Larkhall Athletic.
In the Premier Division, they have recorded 19th, 14th and 15th places among some of the biggest clubs in non-League. Adams reached 300 games in charge in the final game of the season – a 1-1 draw at Bishop’s Stortford which cost them another best ever finish.
Despite Rugby playing two levels below Stratford, Adams sees the chance to revive one of the Midlands’ non-League fallen giants as hugely enticing.
“Rugby Town is a project which really excites me,” said Adams.
“I think people realise I’ve taken Stratford as far as I can. Finishing 15th in the league isn’t good enough for me. I want to be winning things.
“I’m not afraid to drop two levels. Rugby is a very big club in non-League, with a great set-up, great facilities and a good fan-base.”
Former Bromsgrove Sporting manager Paul Smith has been quickly linked with the manager’s post at the MoodChimp.
Smith led Sporting to an ‘Invincible’ title-winning season in Midland League Division One in 2017 and they were challenging for the Premier crown (which they went on to win) as table-toppers until a fall-out with the off the field matters ended in his resignation in February.
He is understood to be keen for an opportunity at a higher level and a Step Three club would tick all the boxes.
Town issued a statement on Tuesday which read: “Carl Adams informed the club today that he is leaving post as first team manager.
“The club would like to thank Carl for all of his work over the last six years, which included securing two promotions up to the Southern Premier League, which is the highest in our club’s history.”