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Former Claret John Francis has become the new manager of Albion Sports, a Bradford based club who actually currently play their home games in Leeds at the home of Farsley Celtic.

1112 burnley john francis 00 300x300The change of manager at the Northern Counties East League Premier Division club is a remarkable one, simply because it is has seen the departure of the previous manager Kulwinder Sandhu who has been in charge for the past 34 years.

It’s a remarkable story for a manager who took the club from local Sunday League football to Step Five on the non-league pyramid but he admitted in an interview with the Bradford Telegraph & Argus that it was the right time for him to leave.

“I think it’s time for a change,” he said. “After over 34 years I must have been the longest serving manager in the world.

“A couple of weeks after the last season finished I told the chairman Jaj (Singh) that I wouldn’t be managing the team for the new season. I had become frustrated as every time I get a good player or bring one through from the junior sides and improve them, other clubs just come in and snap them up and then I’m building another team, yet again.

“I’ve got no problems with players progressing and moving on to bigger clubs in higher leagues, but when people move to clubs in your division for a few quid it deflates you a bit.”

Although asked to remain with the club, he’s decided to take a break with them appointing the former Burnley striker. The chairman said: “John is a well known coach within the circuit. He will get all the backing of everyone involved at Albion Sports.

“I’m sure he’ll enjoy his time with us. John’s a quality coach and we are hoping he is going to bring a lot of the younger players through.”

Francis had two spells as a player at Burnley between 1990 and 1996 whilst also returning as a coach within the centre of excellence. Now aged 55, in all likelihood, he won’t be manager at Albion Sports quite as long as his predecessor.

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