STUDLEY will begin the search for a new manager after Paul Smith joined their Midlands Football League Division One rivals Bromsgrove Sporting.

The Bees gave Smith permission to talk to Bromsgrove after the Worcestershire outfit had made an official approach for him last week.

His last game in charge was Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Ellistown and Ibbstock United in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

But after being interviewed for the job by Sporting chairman John Teece and the board, he officially accepted the job at the Victoria Ground on Sunday and started on Monday.

Studley chairman Barry Cromwell said: "We are disappointed that Paul has left, the club has thoroughly enjoyed the 14 months he has been at the club.

"He's one of the nicest guys you can meet and we understand the reasons why he's gone.

"We didn't want to lose Paul but the whole situation is amicable.

"It's not the best time to lose a manager but we hope to find a replacement as soon as week can."

Studley's board were set to meet last night to discuss the next step.

Smith's assistant Martyn Socket and coach Nick Smith were set to move to Bromsgrove also, although one of the duo will also stay on board at Studley for the Bank Holiday weekend clashes at Uttoxeter on Saturday and Littleton on Monday (both games 3pm kick-off).

The former Studley boss may also raid his old club for club for players.

Smith said: "I must say give my thanks to Studley, they have been absolutely brilliant and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club.

"The president Dave Robinson and chairman Barry Cromwell have been first class and I will do everything I can to make my transition as smooth as possible.

He added: "I built a very strong team at Studley so I will be looking to go back there for several players but I stress everything will be done properly, that's the only way to do it."