IT is a day that deep down, anybody associated with Warrington Town knew would come eventually.

News of Paul Carden’s departure to a higher level will not come as much of a surprise in itself, given the calibre of coach he is.

In the opinion of many, he is the best manager in the Northern Premier League and one Town have been incredibly lucky to have for the past five years.

The timing will be what hurts the most, with Yellows in good form and building into what looks to be another promising season.

But nobody can blame Carden for wanting to take this opportunity.

On the face of it, it seems like a no-brainer – the chance to work in a higher league with a bigger budget at a club in AFC Telford United which has the potential to be bigger than their current perilous position suggests.

However, the fact he had to think so hard about it – and as I understand it, he was seriously torn – goes to show the kind of connection Carden has with Warrington Town.

While they may be at the same level as they were when he took over (not through lack of trying), there can be no doubt that he leaves the club in a much better shape than he found it.

What is equally indisputable, though, is how much he will be missed.

Carden has been the jewel in Yellows’ crown, their prized asset. To lose him is a hammer blow to their ambitions.

But while this will shake the club to its foundations, they cannot afford for this to bring everything they have carefully constructed crashing down.

They are in a good position in the league and are still in the FA Trophy, so the groundwork for another good campaign has been laid.

As such, Town’s next move is a crucial one as the work to find Carden’s successor begins in earnest.

What is for certain, though, is that whoever takes the Cantilever Park hotseat has some monumental shoes to fill.

The past five years have seen some incredible moments – indeed, some of my best times in this role have been had reporting on Carden’s Yellows teams through play-off joy and heartache, cup runs and all things in between.

Make no mistake, Paul Carden will be remembered at this club for a very long time.