Gary Brabin has shocked Southport by resigning as manager after just four months in charge.
The 44-year-old has decided to take up a coaching role at Premier League Everton, where he will work with the club’s young players.
Port chairman Chalie Clapham reacted swiftly to the news and has installed Paul Carden as Brabin’s successor.
A lifelong Evertonian, Brabin – who featured for both Blackpool and Hull City during a long football career – took over the Sandgrounders in October after previous boss Martin Foyle was sacked.
He made the team difficult to beat and leaves them six points above the relegation zone in the Conference Premier, with several games in hand.
Port also reached the third round of the FA Cup under Brabin and they almost earned a replay away at Championship high-flyers Derby County, but Chris Martin’s injury-time penalty earned the Rams a 1-0 win.
“It is a compliment to both Gary and Southport that Everton want our manager for such a prestigious role,” said Clapham.
“It’s Gary’s lifelong ambition to be part of Everton Football Club and sometimes in life things happen when you are not expecting them to.
“I would not want to stop Gary achieving his ambition and genuinely wish him all the best.”