Athlone Town have confirmed that Colin Fortune has stepped down as head coach while the search for Ricardo Monsanto's replacement as manager continues.
Fortune had both played and managed the Midlands side, joining originally as a player in January of 2006 before departing in November of the following year.
He took over as manager of the side in December of last year, just ahead of the start of the upcoming First Division season.
He claimed maximum points in his first two games in charge with victories over Waterford and Wexford before being demoted to head coach in favour of Monsanto.
Monsanto parted company with the club last Friday and another Portuguese coach, Ricardo Cravo, has taken over as interim manager.
A midfielder in his playing days, the Athlone native was highly respected both on and off the pitch by the fans and he showed exemplary attitude during a tough time for the club.
In a statement of his own, Fortune gave his thanks to all those he worked with during his time at the club.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the club and everyone involved, especially the staff and players that came in during my tenure and gave me and the club every support and help and without them the future of the club would have been severely hampered.”
“I would like to thank all the supporters for their support and help through what were difficult times, and I would encourage you to continue your support for the club”
“Finally, I would like to wish the club every success and ask everyone to now respect my privacy as I won’t be taking any questions in regards as to any issues around this decision.”
The search for a new manager continues for Athlone, with the club expecting to make an announcement regarding the position soon.