TERRAS’ goalkeeping coach Paul Maitland admitted “time will only tell” as to whether the imminent departure of manager Jason Matthews is the right thing for the club.

Maitland, who also stated he was “fairly confident” Weymouth will be able to find a replacement goalkeeper for when Matthews exits the club next week, spoke out to praise the outgoing manager for the job he has done over the last-three-and-a-half years.

After speaking to chairman-elect Steve Mills about his future on Wednesday, Matthews is set to play his final two games for the Terras, starting at St Ives on Saturday (3pm).

Tuesday’s Dorset Senior Cup final against Gillingham Town at the Avenue is scheduled to be the player-manager’s farewell fixture.

Giving his reaction to the player-manager’s pending departure, Maitland, who had worked with Matthews for his entire managerial reign, told Echosport: “I think probably deep down he knew the season hadn’t panned out how he wanted it to.

“There has obviously been pressure on the board to do something and they have decided to take the action they feel was necessary. Whether it’s the right thing or not, time will only tell.

“I was disappointed from a selfish point of view.

“You don’t often make good friends in football, they are people that you spend a time with and you move on from but in Jase, I feel like we have made a friendship that will probably last way beyond football.

“I have enjoyed working with him and his company as a person. I think, at times, and probably now, some of what he has actually achieved people won’t realise, because it’s not seen.”

He added: “I think the club actually owe him a huge debt of gratitude from where he has taken it to where it is now.

“On the pitch that might seem a strange comment but, off the pitch, he took over at a time when it was not great and it took some pretty big decisions to get it back on an even keel.

“Had it not been for some of Jason’s actions, the club certainly would be in a potentially far worse position than it stands today.”

Matthews’ pending exit also leaves the club struggling for goalkeeping options for the final three games of the season, but Maitland insists there are three glovemen that are still registered with the club’s first-team.

They are believed to include Nick Thomas, who has been playing for Bournemouth Poppies in the Wessex Premier League, and former Chickerell stopper Steve Boore.

Maitland added: “We do actually have three goalkeepers still signed to the club on first-team forms. We will be sorting out one of those, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Nick trains week in week out with us and he is a Weymouth player first and foremost. He was put out on loan because it was felt that he was capable of playing at a higher level than reserve-team level.”

“I am fairly confident we will have a goalkeeper in play for Good Friday.”

Dorset Echo

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