MIKE Barton has spoken of his shock, after his tenure at the helm of Spar Mid Wales League One side Berriew came to an end.
The former Caersws and Guilsfield manager parted company with the Talbot Field club on Friday, with the Rhiewsiders appointing Mike Pearce as his successor.
However Barton hit out: “I have heard people say this was mutual but I can deny that.
“I had outlined my plans for next season and had a few top players coming in over the summer, so I had no plans to leave. Honestly I was absolutely stunned.”
Barton maintained: “I honestly feel that we would have been in the title mix next season so to leave this way is disappointing.”
Berriew Football Club chairman Delwyn Langford praised Barton for his contribution, while welcoming former Berriew manager Pearce back into the hot-seat.
“The club found itself in the enviable position of having two first team management candidates for next season,” said Langford.
“Mike Pearce expressed a very keen desire to rejoin the club and build on his earlier successes.
“He brings a history of success with the club, he’s a Berriew boy and, most importantly, he brings a strong and clear long-term strategy that meets the club’s aspirations.”
Langford added: “The club’s executive committee has some very aggressive objectives for the next three seasons and felt Pearce’s skill-set best matched these objectives.”