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Manager's 35 years in charge ends at the Lions
27th July, 2019
Albion Sports have unveiled John Francis after their new manager following the news that Kulwinder Sandhu had stepped down as boss after 35 years in the dugout for the Lions.
The Toolstation NCEL Premier Division club made the announcement on Friday and paid tribute to the man who had been in charge since the mid-1980s.
A statement read: "Albion Sports would like to announce that former professional footballer and highly respected UEFA A Licensed coach John Francis has been unveiled as the new manager of the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division side, bringing with him an array of expertise.
"Club chairman Jaj Singh said: 'We are delighted to welcome John onto the team. He shares our ethos and motivation to elevate the club and players higher. I believe his background in football provides him with the best preparation to fulfil our shared goals.
"'Albion Sports have a lot more to offer and great ambitions for the club's coming years; I am very much looking forward to John being part of this. He will add to the variety of talent already within the club and we can collectively work towards our exciting future.'
"Francis spoke of his appointment: 'I am honoured to take over from Kulwinder and hope I can contribute to the club as much as he has done over his years of service. Albion Sports have a fantastic team with a multitude of talent, I cannot wait to add to the club and be part of its future growth.'
"Albion Sports is of course sad to lose such a valuable manager in Kulwinder Sandhu, but respect his decision to step down. His 35 years of dedicated servce make him the longest serving football manager in the country; the club is deeply grateful for everything he has contributed. We thank him for being such a brilliant role model with deep gratitude, and look forward to continually working with him, as Kulwinder will remain within the club holding a position on the club's committee.
"Club chairman Jaj Singh expressed his appreciation for Kulwinder's service in saying: 'Kulwinder is an upstanding member of not only the club but the wider community, he acts with great dedication in all his does and I am thankful for his work as a manager. I look forward to working with him in future on the club's committee.'
"Co-founder and present club treasurer Jasvinder Singh Basi wrote: 'Kulwinder is one of the most positive and approachable people I have ever met. His consistent hard work has allowed the club to flourish to what it is today and we are deeply indebted to him for his contributions.'
"Club captain Sam Denton stated: 'The players are genuinely saddened at losing Kulwinder as manager, but will never lose their close friendship and respect for him. They are also keenly awaiting Francis as their new manager as he has already been coaching the team for the last eighteen months and has formed a great bond with the players.'"