Morris leaves Bucks but with a heavy heart

Buxton FC v North Ferriby Utd, Lee Morris
Buxton FC v North Ferriby Utd, Lee Morris
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Departing striker Lee Morris has revealed his ambition to move into management as the key reason for leaving Buxton.

Morris last week opted to drop down two divisions to join NCEL Premier Division newcomers Shaw Lane Aquaforce as a player-assistant manager.

Despite being top-scorer for Martin McIntosh’s side last season, Morris says that the opportunity to join Shaw Lane in a player-coaching capacity was difficult to rebuff.

He said: “Basically Shaw Lane rang me up at the end of last season with the intention of me going there and becoming a player-assistant.

“It wasn’t a decision I took lightly.

“I spoke to Martin and he offered me the chance to stay.

“But when I weighed it up, the Shaw Lane offer ticked all the boxes.

“It’s close to my home and my wife is about to give birth so that, combined with being assistant, made sense.

“They’re a relatively new club. They’ve had a few promotions and their aim is to be in the Conference North within five seasons, so the ambition is certainly there.

“I’ve always wanted to go into management but it’s hard to think about it when you’re concentrating on playing.

“Last season I led a few of the training drills and stuff like that, so that got my mind thinking.

“Then when this offer came up it was hard to turn down.”

The departing hitman also says he is thankful to McIntosh for his understanding.

He said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the gaffer.

“He rang me up after I made the decision and said he would always be willing to chat if I needed any help.

“It’s a shame to be leaving but I wish Buxton all the best.”

Morris, aged 32, bagged 47 goals in 97 appearances for Buxton and will be remembered favourably by Bucks fans for his service to the club.

His departure was followed by arrival of former Matlock striker Shaun Tuton this week.

The 22-year-old is expected to share the goalscoring burden in 2014-15 with fellow new forward Liam Hardy, and Morris believes the duo will serve the club well.

He added: “Martin has made two great signings in Shaun and Hards.

“They’ve got speed and are both exciting players.”

Another boost for the Bucks this week was the news that Steve Istead is signed up for next term.

The former Hartlepool man becomes the fifth player to commit, following in the footsteps of Tuton, Hardy, Ash Palmer and Craig King.