Longhurst is back after u-turn!

Matt Longhurst has made a sensational return to manage East Grinstead Town less than two weeks after leaving for Ryman South rivals Hastings United.

Longhurst will be back on the touchline for the Wasps at Lewes on Saturday after officials at East Court announced his u-turn on Tuesday, his change of heart coming 12 days after his departure to become number two to Darren Hare at the Pilot Field.

Appointed in October 2015 as the successor to Tony Beckingham, the former Erith & Belvedere boss, pictured, was welcomed back with immediate effect and open arms by a delighted East Grinstead Town chairman Richard Tramontin in a club statement.

Tramontin said: “We met with Matt on Monday and after a long discussion it was the unanimous decision of the club’s committee to offer him his old job back. We didn’t want him to leave in the first place and we’re pleased that he is back to continue to lead the progress we have made on the pitch since he was appointed."

He added: “Matt has put in place a strong football ethos with the accent on developing young players and we are looking forward to that continuing long into the future.”

Longhurst told fans he didn't take long to realise he wanted to return before paying tribute to Hastings United for their understanding and support.

He said: "I have returned to East Grinstead Town thankful for the opportunity the club have given me to continue my work over the last 17 months. I made a quick decision that being a number two wasn't for me and that's no disrespect to Darren Hare and Hastings United. It's purely my own feelings on what I have to offer and how I like things done.

"Hastings is a fantastic club with great supporters, board, players and management team and I thank them for the opportunity. However, at this stage in my career and after lots of thought, I decided I need to be a manager and cannot wait to get back to work."

He added: "I want to take this opportunity to thank the committee at East Grinstead for the chance to come back so we can build on the foundations already in place and work hard to improve and build for next season.

"I would also like to say to the supporters, players, staff and committee at East Grinstead that I made a big mistake leaving and will work harder than ever to produce the team and club you deserve."

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