The main news from the Welsh Premier League this week was the sudden departure of Port Talbot Town head coach Jarred Harvey and his assistant Craig ‘Guppy’ Hughes. The former Cambrian & Clydach manager moves on from the GenQuip Stadium after being offered a full-time post at Cardiff City, working with their Under-18 squad after initially arriving at the club under now-Cardiff City assistant manager Scott Young. Harvey’s departure was sudden and after just a short time in charge – he was appointed permanent manager last May – he leaves a positive stamp on the club, having re-galvanised the Port Talbot squad and departs with them well-placed to secure a top-six place. Senior players Rhys Griffiths and Leigh De-Vulgt have currently been handed the reigns at Port Talbot, in what could be a new stage in their WPL careers, and I’d personally like to wish all three the very best with their new opportunities. Meanwhile, Jarred has issued the following open letter:
It’s was with a heavy heart that I made the decision to step down as Head Coach of Port Talbot Town. But the opportunity to become the Under-18s coach at Cardiff City isn’t something that can be turned down, as those opportunities don’t come around that often.
I’d like to think myself Guppy & Kends have made a difference at the club, as I do believe the condition of the squad we’ve developed in such a short period of time can rival any of the top three sides in the WPL.
Whoever gets the opportunity to manage that group will not have to do much, as all the hard work has been done, and what a fantastic opportunity it will be for someone to take on. Especially considering the cut backs made by the club in the summer and that the clubs ambition was consolidation, we still set a target of achieving the top-six to give ourselves the opportunity of European football and I believe they will achieve that.
I’d personally like to thank Andrew Edwards, Wayne Edwards & Colin Hancock for given me the opportunity to become the manager of Port Talbot Town. Having the opportunity to manage the club alongside Craig “Guppy” Hughes, who is a lifelong friend of mine was the proudest moment of my footballing career, he’s a special person, one of a kind, a true footballing man, and I sincerely thank him for supporting me during my time at the club.
He had to make big decisions in the summer to leave Carmarthen, but he knew as well as I did that together we could achieve something great, given the backing of the aforementioned people, and I’d like to think we’ve done that, or certainly put the club in the right direction. I’m sure we will work together again in the future and the experience I’ve had since arriving at the club 11 months ago has been fantastic and I leave with nothing but proud and fond memories.
The TNS game in the Word Cup was a testament for the work that has been done. Duane Saunders, Chris McDonald and the players who represent this football club are a magnificent bunch of men – a real credit to the club and the town, and I will miss them all dearly.
The supporters/fans of the football club are fantastic. And the way they took to us was incredible, and I’d like to thank them for that. Without a shadow of any doubt the best supporters in the WPL. Their commitment to this football club is admirable, and I do intend on spending the odd game sat in the stand with them cheering the lads on.
I wish everyone at the club the very best for the coming season, and whoever gets the job will have my 100% support. I’d also like to express my thanks to all the clubs who represent the WPL and their managers and officials, whom I’ve grown to know so well.
Thanks for the opportunity to manage Port Talbot Town.
21 November 2014