AFTER 11 years involved with Worcester City Youth, stalwart Nigel Upson will move on at the end of the season following the appointment of new chairman Dave Francis.

Upson has been holding the chairman post, integrated with his duties as Head of Youth Development, in an interim capacity after another long-serving member of the club, Mark Wilcox, stepped down in March.

After playing a pivotal role in the successful development of City's thriving youth section, Upson has decided to depart at the end of June but will continue to work alongside Francis in a joint capacity to ensure a smooth transition.

"I have had to make some tough decisions in football and none have been as tough as this but I genuinely feel that with the Youth Development section in such a strong position, it is time," said Upson.

"It's been an honour to have served our home club in a variety of pitchside and off pitch roles. I've been fortunate to have helped build and run some fantastic squads and taken enormous pride in watching our players develop whilst working with some wonderfully capable and committed people.

"I will leave on a very positive note and with a robust plan to take the Youth Section forward and I wish everyone connected with this superb Club every success."

Speaking about his contribution to Worcester City, Upson said that none of it would have been possible without the support of family and the friends that he has made through football.

"My wife Nikki has been incredibly supportive of my involvement over the years and I couldn't have done it without her support," he added.

"I'm also very proud of my son Ryan for his contributions as an U18s and Reserves player and also for his assistance in squad development during his two seasons as an U18s coach.

"As for my extensive football family, I would particularly like to thank my great friends Mark Wilcox and Club Secretary Andy Jones for their faith in me and tremendous support over the years.

"From the Senior age groups, I'm grateful to Luca Gabriel and Steve Humphrys, not only for their coaching and development of the players they have brought through into the senior age groups during the last five seasons, but also for their dedication, hard work and camaraderie pitchside, along with Andy Swatton who has more recently come on board."

"Of course, I must also thank all of our brilliant managers/coaches and the parents/guardians who have and continue to support us as spectators and team assistants."

New Chairman Francis joined Worcester City from Worcester Colts in 2019 and is currently manager of the Under 11s as well as being a qualified referee. He is looking forward to his new role and overseeing an expanded committee with new members given a lead role to help develop our current boys age groups and increase our girls section from Under 8s to Under 16s.

"We are very grateful for the work that Mark and Nigel have put in to leave the youth section in such a strong position," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to working with the committee and the management team that we've got in place to develop talented young footballers and ensure they continue to enjoy playing the beautiful game and representing Worcester City within a great coaching environment."

Worcester City's board of directors released the following statement, thanking Upson for his service: "We would like to place on public record its sincere thanks to Nigel for his dedication to Worcester City FC throughout his association with the club, he will always be welcome at WCFC.

"In addition, the Board would like to warmly welcome Dave for accepting the offer to lead the youth set-up into a new era. He brings a significant amount of experience that will no doubt help him at the helm of Worcester City’s future generations.

"The Board looks forward to supporting and working with Dave."