JODY Brown has left his post as Heybridge Swifts manager to join Ryman Premier League side Grays Athletic.

Brown takes over from Ryan Kirby, who has left Blues for family and work commitments, and will begin working with his new squad tomorrow.

A statement from Brown said he had made the decision "to further his career."

Brown's departure has stunned Swifts after he took over in December and led them to third in the table in the Ryman North division.

In a statement on their website, Swifts said: "Heybridge Swifts FC would like to place on record our thanks to Jody for all he has done at Scraley Road and thank him for taking us to third place last season and so close to promotion," said the club. "We wish him all the best for the future. The club will not be making any further comment until after the board have met over the weekend."

Brown is expected to meet his new squad, who had a productive season last year, tomorrow and will be hoping to build on last season's 14th place finish.