Hastings United manager Adam Hinshelwood has left the football club to take charge of former side Worthing.
Chris Agutter, who was Hinshelwood’s assistant, has been appointed first team manager with immediate effect and lead the team away to Molesey today (Saturday).
United’s director of football Dean White told the club website: “Obviously we are hugely disappointed with the situation, but when Adam made us aware that due to personal and family reasons, he would like to speak to Worthing about their management vacancy, despite being on contract with our club, we felt we could not stand in his way.
“Adam has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived in June, and has been key in developing a hard working and professional culture at the football club which will be needed for us to progress and achieve long term sustainability moving forward.
“We knew when we appointed a manager of Adam’s quality that we may find it difficult to keep hold of him, However, It’s obviously a surprise to everyone that an approach has come so soon after three months into a three-year contract.
“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank Adam for his service to Hastings United Football Club and also Worthing for the professional way they have conducted themselves throughout the process and wish them both the very best for the future.”
Bostik League Division One South club Hastings received an approach from Bostik Premier outfit Worthing for Hinshelwood and reluctantly entered into discussions with Worthing.
A compensation agreement was agreed between both clubs and Hinshelwood agreed personal terms with Worthing to become their manager for a second time.
Hinshelwood said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club. I have loved working with Chris and Glyn (White), Andrew, Dane (Martin) and the rest of the staff and I wish them well in the future.
“The club is starting to move in the right direction and some of the work that is going on behind the scenes with the academy and the potential new ground will be fantastic for the community.
“Unfortunately, due to some serious personal and family issues that have recently arisen, I was starting to find the travelling difficult from Selsey as these issues mean I have to spend more time nearer to home.
“I would like to thank the board for the opportunity they gave me and also the supporters who have been very welcoming. It may take time but I am convinced that with the foundations that are being put in place, the club will get back to where it needs to be in the near future.”
The club says it is delighted to have the opportunity and confidence to promote from within, and Agutter will advise on the make-up of his backroom staff in due course.
White said: “We have moved quickly to secure Chris as first team manager. He is an exceptional coach who has a tremendous work ethic, drive and thirst for success which is exactly what we are looking for from a manager.
“He has a track record of working with and developing young players, which the club has identified as a key component in its strategy to be successful and progress forward in future years.
“Chris knows the existing squad and will build on what Adam has started. He will be given time to develop a young and hungry team to challenge and compete for promotion over the next two years.
“Having said this, he will also be looking to strengthen the squad via adding experienced players. He has already started the process to do just that and has identified a number of targets.”
Hinshelwood, who previously managed Worthing from 2013-2015, was appointed Hastings manager in June on a three-year contract.
His worked on a full-time basis, both as first team manager and in the Hastings United/Sussex Coast College Football Academy, alongside the club’s coaching partner Skiltek Ltd.