WOKINGHAM & Emmbrook manager Roger Herridge admits he could follow coach Darron Wilkinson out of Larges Lane - but not until the end of next season, writes James Walker-Roberts.
Since taking over as Sumas boss in September 2010, Herridge has guided the club to two top-half finishes in the Hellenic Premier Division and also recent success in the Reading Senior Cup.
He was joined at the helm this year by both Dan Bateman, who has been with Herridge since he took charge, and former Brighton & Hove Albion player Wilkinson.
But it was announced this week that Wilkinson has left the club to join Dave Anderson's coaching team at Ryman Premier side Harrow Borough.
And Herridge, who like many at the club, has grown frustrated by the council's unwillingness to help Sumas find a ground they can call their own, says he also has aspirations to manage further up the football ladder.
"I'm happy for Darron that he is now at a level nearer to where he played at.
"He told me it was a tough decision because he has enjoyed been a part of the team here this season, but I don't begrudge him the move at all," he told the News.
"I'm ambitious too and would like to think I could manage at a higher level, but I would love to see this squad together for another year and see how far they could go.
"They've been together a few years now and now we have the uni boys back full time, I think we could do very well.
"I can see myself staying for this season but beyond that I don't know." Regarding rumours that he could leave the club this summer, Herridge said there has been no discussions between himself and any other side, including Highmoor Ibis and Hartley Wintney.
Indeed, Herridge is already planning for next season by speaking to potential replacements for Wilkinson, but says there is no rush to appoint his successor.
"I've got a few people in mind to replace him but we're not in a hurry, whoever comes in has to fit in with the players and what we are trying to do here," he said.
"I made some good signings last summer but Darron was one of the best. Like Wayne, I learn a lot from him, he's a good coach and a great guy.
"We had ups and downs this season but we had a great time and won a cup at the end."