November 19, 2021 8.31 am

Gabriel Zakuani steps down as Spalding United manager

He spent just over a year at the club

Former Congolese footballer Gabriel Zakuani has stepped down from this role as manager of Spalding United.

The ex-defender was appointed as joint caretaker manager of the Tulips in October 2020 alongside Neal Spafford in what was his first football managerial role. He was later given the job on a permanent basis with Spafford as his assistant and former Premier League striker Lomana Lualua brought in as his attacking coach.

Zakuani, whose signings as Spalding boss included Nile Ranger and Marcus Maddison, has resigned due to his increased business and media commitments. Assistant manager Bruno Porfirio will take charge of the squad for Saturday’s fixture against Coleshill Town.

Spalding United, who play in the Norther Premier League – Division One Midlands, issued a statement saying: “First team manager Gabriel Zakuani has today stepped down from his role due to his increased business and media commitments.

“Everyone associated with Spalding United Football Club would like to thank Gaby for his commitment to the club and we look forward to continue our working relationship with him in a different role moving forward.”

Zakuani said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as manager but in recent weeks it’s become more of a challenge with my commute and my other commitments I have outside of the club.

“After a good and honest conversation with the owners we agreed this was the right thing and right time to do this for both of us, the ongoing development of the club is the main priority.

“I still want to play a part in that and I’m looking forward to attending a game very soon but this time watching from the stands rather than the dugout. The squad we’ve built is great, I cant wait to see them kick on and they are in safe hands with Bruno and the team.”

Spalding United’s CEO Leigh Porter added: “Gaby is a part of the club and always will be, he knows what we all think of him, this is right for him and the club and we look forward to helping Gaby develop.

“Our focus as a club is now on Saturday and continuing to work towards the goals and objectives we set ourselves at the start of the season.”

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