GARY Bailey has accepted a role on the Portland United management committee after being unable to accept the role of first-team manager following an interim spell.

Bailey also confirmed that his assistants, Chris Wilson and Stuart Heath have decided to step down from their current roles.

Bailey will be staying at the club and assisting Portland Reserves’ manager Justin Faulkner with their remaining fixtures.

Speaking about his decision to not to accept the role of first-team manager, Bailey said: “Work commitments have changed and I am in the position now where I am going to have to work every other Saturday which makes it impossible to commit to the level this requires to run the club in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division.

“It needs more attention to detail than that so that is what forced my hand and made my decision to not accept the offer to continue as permanent manager.”

Bailey added: “But the club have offered me a position on the management committee so I gratefully accepted that and I am looking forward to staying associated with the club in a different role.”

Bailey replaced Simon Browne on an interim basis after the latter was relieved of his duties in January following a 4-3 defeat to Horndean, in which Portland were 3-0 up at half-time.

Bailey said: “I have had fantastic backing from the committee in my two spells here as a manager and I am looking forward to helping the club from the other side of the fences as it were.

“I am delighted to be able to stay involved at the club, it has always been close to my heart and run by fantastic people. Although we were disappointed that I could not continue in the role as first-team manager I am staying on board with the club in some capacity so that is a good outcome as far as I am concerned.”

Bailey will not have any influence in appointing his successor in his role on the management committee.

When asked how he will look at his two spells, which saw Portland crowned league champions after the 2016/17 season followed by a 15th place finish at the end of the 2018/19 season, Bailey said: “The second spell you cannot compare it, the first spell was planned and organised and its success was built up over a four-year period.

“We planned progression and everything else that led to that, the second spell was an emergency stop gap.

“I was quite happy to answer the call for help from the club because like I said I have got a real affinity with the club and when they asked me to step in at short notice I was more than happy to do that.

“It was a difficult season for many reasons for the club but it still functioned well, it will come back stronger.”

Bailey also paid tribute to Wilson and Heath, as he said: “All I do want to say is that I had fantastic support from Stuart Heath and Chris Wilson, they again jumped on board at short notice and again came back to assist me in their roles and they have been fantastic back in that short spell back at the club.”

Bailey’s last game as manager was a 3-2 win over Fareham Town, which saw a brace from Tom Bearwish and a goal from Lee Sharpe seal a 3-2 win at the Weyline Stadium.

Portland finished 15th in the table under Bailey after the 2017/18 season which saw Portland face a relentless schedule due to postponed matches.

The Blues faced eight games in the last 21 days of the season and earned seven points in that time, thanks to victories over Fareham Town and Newport while earning a draw at Horndean.