GETTING into full-time football is the aim for Andy Whing after his surprise resignation as Banbury United manager.

The former Oxford United defender’s exit from the Puritans was announced on Monday evening, after three successful years with the club.

The 38-year-old led Banbury to a historic promotion during the 2021/22 season, winning the Southern League Premier Central title by 23 points.

The club then finished 17th in Vanarama National League North this campaign, as they played at the highest level in their history.

READ AGAIN: Banbury United boss Andy Whing resigns from club

Mixed into that were two runs to the first round of the Emirates FA Cup and a club record run to the last 16 of the FA Trophy this season.

Whing though announced his decision to step down, and told this newspaper his time with the Puritans has made him want to get back into the football industry on a permanent basis.

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He said: “My plan is always to get into full-time football. I’ve been in football since I was 15 or 16, and that’s all I ever wanted to do.

“The experience of being a manager has whet my appetite and I’d love to get back into full-time football.

“At the moment, nothing is lined up and I’m just looking forward to spending time with my family.

“It’ll be nice to put my phone away and chill out with them.”

Whing is also open to an assistant role, if the right opportunity presents itself.

He said: “Michael Appleton was managing at Oxford United and then went to be an assistant at Leicester, before getting back into being a manager.

“It’s all about learning and different experiences.

“I’ve had a great time being a manager but whether that’s the next move, I don’t know. I’ll just see what opportunities come about.”

Discussing his resignation, Whing said: “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last couple of weeks, I felt I’d taken the club as far as I can.

“It’s been an unbelievable three years and I never thought we’d achieve what we’ve achieved – FA Cup runs, winning the league by more than 20 points, selling players on to higher levels and then staying up have been unbelievable achievements.

“I’m not someone to let people down and I hope I haven’t with this decision.

“I’m ambitious and I want to win the league I’m in, and at this time, I feel I’ve taken the club as far as I can.”

He added: “What I didn’t want to do was tarnish the success going forward.

“Sometimes managers are at the same club for too long, but of course we had some great times.

“The amount of messages and support has been overwhelming and emotional really, and it just shows it was a fantastic three years.”

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here:

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.