Sitch relinquishes role as captain of Magpies
After more than a decade-long stint, Leigh Sitch has taken the decision to stand down as captain of Harleston Magpies Men’s first team.
It has been an eventful tenure for the club stalwart, who has risen through the Magpies’ ranks.
Under his guidance the team has enjoyed a couple of spells in the National League, and while there has also been a couple of relegations along the way, it has largely been a positive stint with the armband.
Aged 31, Sitch is by no means past his best, but he feels the time is right to pass on the responsibility.
“There were a few reasons why I came to this decision,” he said.
“I have two young boys and I want to do as much as I can with them.
“And as a club we came to the decision it was right all-round.
“We want more younger players leading the team, just like I did when I took on the role over 10 years ago.
“There have been many positives — to captain the team at National League level was a real honour.”
Much to the delight of player-coach Tim Whiteman, Sitch will continue to be available for selection.
Not only that, he has agreed to join the staff behind the scenes as Whiteman’s playing assistant.
The former Great Britain international said: “I have only been back at the club a year but I have known Leigh for a long time.
“It is pretty obvious what he means to the club. He works hard behind the scenes and is great with the young players.
“He leaves a huge legacy as captain but I am really happy he has accepted the role as assistant player-coach.
“We did not want to lose his leadership and he still has plenty to offer on the pitch.
“I am looking forward to working closely with him next season.”
Someone that has been alongside Sitch for much of his journey as skipper is Andrew Bedwell.
The two started playing together as part of the Magpies’ minis set-up and but for a spell when Bedwell went to university, have remained team-mates and close friends.
“Leigh epitomises what it is to be part of Magpies,” said Bedwell.
“He is so dedicated, turns up to every training session and plays every match — even when he is carrying an injury.
“He is still a quality player and it is great he is still going to have a big input leading from the front.”
Twenty-two-year-old Tom Ridley is expected to replace Sitch in the role as first-team captain from next season.