BRANTHAM Athletic boss Matt Carmichael is backing former managerial partner Michael Brothers to finish his playing career on a high after announcing he is leaving the Imps.

The pair have enjoyed great success as joint-bosses of the Thurlow Nunn League outfit.

They guided the club to a fifth-place finish in the premier division last season and then put the cherry on the cake by winning the League Cup silverware.

Brothers scored twice as Brantham secured a famous 4-2 victory against Thetford Town – their first major cup silverware since 1984.

However, the striker, who had been player-joint manager, has now decided to move on in order to concentrate solely on playing.

"I had an inkling something might be brewing," said Carmichael, who will continue in his role as Brantham manager.

"I suspect he's been thinking about this for a few weeks and we had a long chat on Sunday night.

"He's decided he wants to have one last crack at just playing, without having to worry about any managerial responsibilities.

"It's tough doing the two jobs.

"You get caught between two stools and I understand where he's coming from.

"It's disappointing in the sense we've had some good times together here.

"But we've been mates for too long for me to have any issues with his decision.

"The only issue I had - and I mean this in a lighthearted way - is that he's left me short of a quality striker!

"There's no doubt he can still do a job, at this level and above.

"Hopefully it works out for him because he'll offer a lot to whichever club he ends up joining."

Former Brightlingsea Regent, Needham Market and Leiston striker Brothers and ex-Harwich and Parkeston boss Carmichael took the reins at Brantham in January 2017.

Their last game in charge together was last Friday's 3-1 defeat at home to Woodbridge Town.

Brothers leaves with the Imps sitting eighth in the table heading into a run of three straight away games, starting with Saturday's trip to Ely City.

"We worked well together as a management team but there's not a lot of time for romance in football," added Carmichael, also a former coach at Little Oakley.

"It's too blood and thunder and you have to live and die by the decisions you make.

"We'll look to appoint a new assistant manager in due course but I'm happy to carry on on my own.

"I've never doubted myself in terms of football and always back myself."

Ben Swan will continue in his role as first-team coach.