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Personal battle with mental health issues leads to boss' departure

Ketton boss Ian Abbott has revealed that his personal battle with mental health issues has led to him relinquishing his role with the Peterborough League club.

Abbott admitted he had been suffering with anxiety and depression for the past 10 months after resigning from his post as first team manager at Pit Lane on Monday night.

He confessed that too many people with mental health problems 'suffer in silence' and felt the need to speak out in the hope that more people with similar issues follow his lead.

Ian Abbott (7424391)
Ian Abbott (7424391)

Abbott said: "It's hard enough at the moment for me to concentrate on my own life let alone manage a football team.

"A lot of people suffer with mental illness, but they suffer in silence. I'm open enough with the people around me but, until it happens it you, it's so difficult to grasp the situation.

"I've lost all my confidence to do certain things and it affects my every day life.

"I've had to have seven or eight weeks off work and only started back in January. You've no idea about it until it happens to you.

"I've always been someone who would tell you to pull your socks up and get on with it but, after experiencing this, I just can't pull mine up any more.

"It's such a surreal feeling. You just want to shut yourself away from everybody and do your own thing.

"I'm lacking in confidence and don't feel that I can fulfil my role at the club. You need to be a leader and I haven't got that in me any more."

Abbott was appointed as part of a joint management team at the Premier Division side at the start of this season along with Chris Lyon who departed in October for reigning champions Netherton United.

He led Ketton to the semi-final of the Peterborough Senior Cup - where they were beaten 2-0 by Whittlesey last weekend - and leaves them in 11th place in the table.

Abbott added: "I'm gutted for the lads and I feel really bad for letting Stephen Pearce down because he's been a fantastic chairman who does so much for the club, but it was affecting me too much.

"I'm not a quitter, but the defeat in the semi-final was still affecting me until the last couple of days.

"I had a very bad experience of falling out with a player which has never happened before. I felt my performance as manager in the last game was not up to scratch.

"The result wasn't down to me, but I wasn't my usual self.

"I'm leaving with the club safe from relegation though and the reserves are also having a better season.

"We also beat Netherton this season for the first time ever so that's something that I can take with me.

"I do want to stay in football. I don't want to be a manager. I haven't got the confidence for that, but I'd be happy to be an assistant because I still want to be involved.

"I also still want to carry on playing on a Sunday morning because it's so different to management."

Ketton - who were without a match on Saturday - are back in action this weekend when they travel to second-placed Peterborough Sports Development.

They will be without top scorer Tom Mann who has made the higher level switch to United Counties League Premier Division side Peterborough Northern Star.

Mann made his final appearance for Ketton in their semi-final defeat to Whittlesey who struck a goal in each half after a bright start by the Rutlanders.

Abbott commented: "We should have taken the lead in the first 10 minutes. We had some good chances and then hit the post.

"We didn't create much in the second half and they defended in numbers after taking the lead.

"There wasn't a lot between the sides. We are competitive against everyone now, but Whittlesey are a strong side and will make it very difficult for Moulton Harrox in the final.

"We had Seb Hood away on a school skiing trip and then Cal Parker had to come off after dislocating his shoulder so it just wasn't our day."

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