JULIAN DICKS has left Swifts to take up a coaching role at Championship heavyweights West Brom.
The 50-year-old has accepted an invitation to join the coaching staff under new Baggies boss Slaven Bilic, someone he played alongside and worked as a coach under at Premier League West Ham.
Assistant manager Karl Duguid is set to step up to the role of first-team boss at Heybridge, subject to ratification by the club’s committee.
Dicks (pictured by Alan Edmonds, with Duguid in the background) was appointed Heybridge boss in October 2018 and led the club to a memorable Isthmian North play-off win in May 2019.
Chairman Gary White, who is currently away in California, said: “While we are disappointed to lose Julian after he did a superb job for our club last season, this opportunity is simply too good for him to miss.
“It gives him a chance to work again in the Premier League, where he was previously with Slaven at West Ham for two seasons until November 2017.
“We all wish him well in his new role and thank him for doing such a terrific job after coming in following a disappointing run of league and cup results.”
Former Colchester United captain and ex-Stanway Rovers manager Duguid, 41, has been part of the Swifts’ management team since June 2018.
His first game in charge is set to be the pre-season trip to Essex Senior League side Walthamstow on Saturday, July 13.
Gary added: “We have wasted no time in identifying Karl as the ideal replacement for Julian.
“Karl had a superb playing career and has built up a good deal of non league experience now.
“Last season’s success was very much a double act with Julian and we hope the transition will be very smooth.
“Karl will be appointing an assistant manager in due course and we hope the new management team will be able to build on the legacy of Julian and and his predecessor Jody Brown following two memorable seasons at the club.”