Arbroath Football Club is searching for a new manager to plot their assault on the League Two title next season.
Paul Sheerin left the Lichties on Friday after four years at the club to take up a role as Under-20s coach at SPFL Premiership side Aberdeen.
It was a decision the gaffer told HeraldSport was an extremely difficult one to make, but the opportunity was simply too good to turn down.
Chairman John Christison told the Herald: “It was disapponting to lose Paul. We stuck by him last year and we were really looking forward to doing well under him next season.
“However, the lure of a full-time job in football, when you have a young family with a big club such as Aberdeen which is clearly on the up, was too much to resist and we understand and respect that. You can’t blame him at all,” he said.
“The applications have been coming in and we will sit down on Friday night (tonight) and go through them and if need be draw up a shortlist.
“Ideally we would like to get it done as quickly as possible, but you don’t want to rush into things, you have to make the right appointment.
“However, with five pre-season games planned and a big game against Aberdeen a week on Saturday, we need to get someone in place.”
Assistant boss Stewart Petrie will take the reigns for the interim period. “We are delighted that SP has said he will keep things ticking over until such time as things have been decided. Stewart has been told that he has as much chance as anyone else,” added the chairman.
The new manager’s first league match in charge will be away to Berwick Rangers on August 9. The Lichties’ first home league game is seven days later at home to ambitious Albion Rovers.
Paul Sheerin starts his new job first thing on Monday morning at Pittodrie. He said: “I’m looking forward to it but it’s going to be a bugbear considering how I left, obviously with underperforming last year and walking away from relegating the football club. It is a real blow to me that it happened this way, it’s not the way I wanted it to finish.
“The reaction of the supporters after the Aidrie game will live with me for a long time and I want to thank them for backing me, and everyone at the club, Mags, Karen, Julie, and the board who stood by me during a couple of bad times when they could have moved me on.”
The former Lichties’ boss has strong feelings about who should replace him. He explained: “It’s obvious, I would love SP to get the job now. We’ve been working together for the last four years and he’s done the bulk of it in all honesty.
“The squad of players the two of us assembled over the last couple of months I know they are all guys he wants to work with.
“But if the board think differently that’s up to them, I’m sure they will get it right.”