BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent chairman Terry Doherty insists his club are in no rush to replace departing boss James Webster.

The long-serving R’s manager has stepped down to take the reins at Bostik League division north side Aveley.

He took charge for the last time on Tuesday, as the R’s gave him a perfect send-off by beating Kingstonian 2-0.

Now the process of appointing a new manager is underway and there have already been plenty of applicants.

Brightlingsea have arranged a board meeting for Friday night but head coach Ryan Salter, aided by Alan Wright and Pip Boyland, will definitely be in charge for Saturday’s home game against Tooting and Mitcham United.

And Doherty insists there is no rush to appoint Webster’s successor.

“It’ll take some time to get used to but, like any business or organisation, you have to move forward and get on with the job in hand,” he told the Gazette.

“There has already been plenty of interest and some were in touch as soon as the news broke on Tuesday night.

“I’ve had applications from people I know and some from people I don’t but what I will say is that our next manager has to fit the Brightlingsea mould.

“We want him to become part of the fabric here, just like James.

“And it’s so important he has the club’s best interests at heart, as well as his players.

“However, we certainly won’t rush into anything and we’re in no desperate hurry.

“Ryan has been here a long while, since he was a player, and we know each other well.

“In the interim period, I know the team are in safe hands with him in charge, along with Alan and Pip.”

Doherty admitted it was an emotional night on Tuesday.

He and Webster, plus other long-serving committee members, have taken the club on a fantastic run from the Essex and Suffolk Border League to the top division of the Bostik League.

They have enjoyed four promotions in seven seasons, climbing from step seven of the non-league pyramid to step three.

“James, myself and the rest of the committee sat down together for about an hour at the end of Tuesday night,” added Doherty.

“It was lovely and there was lots of reminiscing about the good times.

“Not many clubs have enjoyed the success we have in recent years.

“James has been instrumental in that and he’s gone about everything in the right way.

“He’s always bought into our philosophy of being a humble, friendly club and ethically, he’s such a sound man.

“He’s a genuine, lovely guy and, for me, they’re the two most important qualities.

“As a chairman, first and foremost you need to have someone you can work alongside and those attributes are the most crucial thing.

“We’ve all been through a lot together and enjoyed some real highs, so it’s sad that it’s come to an end.

“We always knew this day would come one day and all we can do is wish him the best of luck.

“He’s been phenomenally successful and the heart and soul of our club for many years.

“He’s not just been our manager – he’s been part of the fabric.

“It’s not just James, either.

“His dad, Manus, has been a huge help and instrumental with our ground development while his brother, Jonathan, runs our Sunday side.

“They’re great friends of the club and I hope none will even be a stranger.”

Doherty admitted his club have already received a seven-day approach for one of their players, from Aveley,

“I imagine we’ll lose one or two but hopefully not too many,” he said.

“The early indications are that most want to stay.”