Ricky Marheineke has stepped down as manager of Huntingdon Town following the game against Wellingborough Town this afternoon to become Brian Page’s assistant at Histon.

Marheineke, 32, was offered the position at the Conference North side five weeks ago, prior to the brawl at Sleaford Town which resulted in both clubs being kicked out of the FA Cup, but only informed his chairman and the club's board of directors on Tuesday that he would be accepting the offer.

Speaking exclusively to The Hunts Post, before Huntingdon lost 3-2 to Wellingborough at Jubilee Park, Marheineke said: "The most important thing for me to do is thank the players, [the secretary] Russell Yesek and [the chairman] Paul Hunt.

"I have had unbelievable support at the club - they have allowed me to get on with the job and have let me have everything I have asked for. They have truly backed me up."

Marheineke was appointed temporary manager of Huntingdon when Al Lenihan stood down in February 2011, with the club just one place off the bottom of Division One of the United Counties League. After halting a six-game losing streak, with the team finishing that season on a high, Marheineke was given the job on a permanent basis. At the end of the following season Huntingdon Town were the Division One champions.

"It has been an absolutely unbelievable rise from where we were then to where we are now," said Marheineke. "My first game was a 2-1 loss at home to Wootton Blue Cross. I had stepped up to assistant manager from the reserves and after that we only lost once in 14 games.

"In some ways - with the club in such a good position in the Premier Division now - I would have loved to be able to finish the job, but these opportunities don't present themselves too often and I couldn't turn this one down.

"I had to think long and hard and it is with a heavy heart I have decided to leave Huntingdon. But, for my personal development it was an opportunity I wasn't prepared to turn down. I had to grab it."

The Hunts Post understands Seb Hayes, who joined the management team as Marheineke's assistant during the summer when Teddy Dear quit the role because of time constraints, will be named the club's new full time manager. He will be assistant by Paul Swannell, the former manager who has been Marheineke's coach and right-hand man throughout his time at Jubilee Park. Hayes is an experienced coach who was working with Peterborough Northern Star when Huntingdon came calling in April.

"I got Seb to the club," said Marheineke. "And if it is the case that he will follow me as manager then the club have made the right appointment.

"Seb and Paul know the club and it is important to keep the stability so there is a smooth transition."

Only in March, towards the end of last season, when Huntingdon finished their first UCL Premier Division campaign in fourth, the club's chairman Hunt told The Hunts Post: "Ricky is born and bred in Huntingdon and although we would never stand in his way, other clubs have no chance of recruiting Ricky as he has the red blood of Huntingdon Town running through his veins.

"The club's success is down to Ricky and the fantastic management team that we have pulled together over the last two years."

Marheineke told the club's players of his decision to leave Huntingdon and join Histon following this afternoon's 3-2 defeat which he was forced to watch from behind the bench as he sat out game two of a three-game sideline suspension. Hayes will be in charge on Wednesday when Newport Pagnell Town visit Jubilee Park for the beginning of a new era.