PERSHORE Town's Les Jones has left his role as first-team boss to take up a new position as director of football in a managerial shake-up.

In the reshuffle, Jones will be replaced by Stewart Watkins as the main man, whilst Derek Doyle is to stand down as assistant manager and depart the club.

Jones has played an integral role for the club over the last 18 months as Pershore survived relegation and they are now mid-table in the West Midlands League Premier Division and still in two cup competitions.

And Jones revealed the director of football role was always the plan when he first arrived at the Community Stadium.

"Since I took the role this was always the plan in place," said the former Malvern Town manager.

"My job was to come in and stabilise the club and help them out of the poor position we were in and then when the time was right to start this role as director of football.

"I think now is the perfect time to do that. There are 16 league games to go and we’re still in two cup competitions so this was a good chance to give the new guys the opportunity to come in and start building the team their way.

"It’s been a really exciting time and a tremendous challenge. I came when we were seven points adrift of safety and we managed to finish 13th in the end and then this season we are mid-table so it’s been a success."

Chairman Paul Loader was full of gratitude for what Jones had done and insists he will continue to be an instrumental part of the side in his new role.

"It has been a role that Les has been working on behind the scenes for the last few months," he said

"We have kept it below radar so he can focus on it a bit more but now was the right time to announce it.

"We wanted the coaching team to have a bit more time together to learn a few more things so February was decided as a better time for all involved.

"Les has been an instrumental part of the side during his time here and that’s why we want him to stay and continue to do that from the new position he will be in."

With Watkins, the ex-Malvern under 18s coach, replacing him there is now an increased focus on youth and Loader believes this next step is the key to providing a "pathway" for the younger players into the senior side.

"This new set-up has been in the making for a while," Loader said.

"Stewart has been with us since the start of the season and we have been looking at him to take up this role for the last few months now.

"The last couple of seasons we have wanted to bring the youth into the team more and now we want to create a pathway for the under 18s and the lower youth teams into the senior squad."

Watkins is set to confirm a new coaching team to support him.