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Highland League football's longest-serving manager to step down as Charlie Rowley announces the end of his Mosset Park reign as Forres Mechanics boss


By Craig Christie

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FORRES Mechanics manager Charlie Rowley has announced his decision to step down after more than ten years in charge at the Moray club.

Charlie Rowley with the Highland League trophy in 2012.
Charlie Rowley with the Highland League trophy in 2012.

Rowley (52) will leave the position after Cans' Highland League Cup tie at home to Turriff United next Saturday.

He has been offered a position on the Cans' board of directors and is set to continue his association with the club in an 'upstairs' capacity.

In a statement on the club's Facebook page, he said he made the decision "with a heavy heart" and thanked the people he had worked with over the years.

Rowley signed a two-year contract extension last year and planned to stay on as boss until the end of the 2022-23 campaign, but said he would always step aside if the club found his successor before then.

Charlie Rowley was Gordon Winton's assistant before stepping up to the manager's role at Mosset Park.
Charlie Rowley was Gordon Winton's assistant before stepping up to the manager's role at Mosset Park.

He first joined Forres in 2002 as a player from Buckie Thistle, signed by then Cans manager Gordon Connelly.

He moved into the coaching side of things before Gordon Winton was appointed as manager in 2007 and made Rowley his assistant.

Within two years they had brought the Highland League Cup to Mosset Park in what proved to be Winton’s final season due to work commitments.

Rowley was his obvious successor, and in his first year as boss he led Forres to a North of Scotland Cup triumph.

Greater things came a year later when he led Mechanics to only their second Highland League title success in their history in the famous 2011-12 season.

"It's with great sadness that I inform you that I will be leaving my position as manager of Forres Mechanics FC," he said.

On the training ground with Mechanics. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
On the training ground with Mechanics. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
"My decision was made with a heavy heart but I feel its the right decision for myself and family as well as the long term ambitions of the club.

"I have to say that my two decades at this great club have been thoroughly enjoyable with some notable highs and experiences throughout.

"I have done my best to represent the club in a way fitting of its history and standing in the Highland League.

"As a family we'd all like to thank the club on how they welcomed and treated us throughout my time there."

Rowley thanked the club's past and present players, coaches, committee members, volunteers and fans for their support over his time at the club.

He gave special thanks to current chairman Dave Macdonald and previous chair James 'The Doc' Anderson for providing him with "unwavering support".

Charlie Rowley is Highland League football's longest serving manager but will step down next week. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Charlie Rowley is Highland League football's longest serving manager but will step down next week. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"What started as a working relationship soon changed to a friendship and for this I will be forever grateful," he said of his bond with Dr Anderson.

Nathan Sharp works as Rowley's assistant manager at present while previous number two Craig Ewen is now boss at Keith and former player and coach Charlie Brown took over at Strathspey Thistle in the summer.

A club statement read: "The Board and everyone associated with Forres Mechanics FC wish to thank Charlie Rowley for the integrity and loyalty he has shown in his 20 years at the club whilst as a player, coach and manager.

"His main achievement as manager was winning the Highland League title in season 2011/12 and the club will be forever grateful for his contribution in making this happen.

"Also under his management we won the North of Scotland Football Association Cup in season 2010/11.

"Charlie has been offered a seat on the Board of Directors and we hope he will accept this position in the fullness of time.

"The Board wish Charlie and his family all the very best for the future and they will always be welcome at Mosset Park."



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