A week or so ago I posted a short blog here looking at Jamie Reed’s proposed signing at Bangor City. Its opening line read: “Stranger things have happened in the Welsh Premier League but the return of Jamie Reed to Bangor City looks all but confirmed after he scored twice for the side in a pre-season friendly at the weekend.”
Stranger things indeed, because just a few hours later Bangor City confirmed that title and Welsh Cup winning manger Nev Powell had been relieved of his duties.
News of the abrupt end to Powell’s nine-year reign at Bangor broke suddenly and unexpectedly but it quickly became apparent all was not well at the club, who just a few weeks earlier were celebrating a takeover by a local consortium promising a return to the days of challenging for the title and European football.
An on-field spat between goalkeeper Connor Roberts and defender Lee Owens during a recent friendly against Colwyn Bay hinted of off-field tensions. Owens, one of handful of players to sign during the summer, is already believed to have left the club without having played a competitive game along with his former Airbus teammate Ryan Wade, though this has not been confirmed. Tom Field, another player with strong ties to Airbus, also signed and departed within the space of a month, with the play-making midfielder opting to switch to Connah’s Quay, whilst Jame Reed is yet to ink terms with Bangor (or any other club).
With Airbus manager Andy Preece widely believed to be keen on the Bangor City vacancy, the club named an unlikely successor to Nev Powell yesterday afternoon as former Llanelli boss Andy Legg was announced as manager of “the biggest club in the Welsh Premier League”. Legg, now a pundit with BBC Radio Wales, has been out of management since leaving Llanelli four years ago but he should be considered a sound appointment by the Citizens.
Bangor’s pre-season has been turbulent at best and the squad remains in a state of rebuilding with their opening league fixture against Cefn Druids just 10 days away. Legg however will have plenty of contacts in the game and has enough WPL experience to be able settle things down and get things moving forward on and off the field after waiting patiently for the right opportunity to return to the WPL.
Having acknowledged the size of the club, Legg will be aware of the task awaiting him in kneading together a fragmented playing squad and working alongside new owners who’ll have their own agenda and expectations.
Legg will need to move quickly to address the team’s immediate needs – the squad currently look weaker in my view than last season and remain particularly light in attack, so sitting down with Jamie Reed and getting the striker to put pen to paper will be a priority. The familiar first-team names of Andy Cummins, Chris Jones and Ryan Edwards have already left and in a season where each of last season’s top-six clubs have strengthened, Legg will have to be smart in his recruitment if Bangor are to be in contention for a top-half position come January’s mid-season split.
Another issue to be addressed by Legg is the assembling of his backroom team. Legg worked closely with former Wales international Steve Jenkins as his assistant at Llanelli, but after Jenkins took up a post as assistant manager of Hereford in June it is highly unlikely the pair will be reunited at Nantporth. Earlier this summer, Nev Powell promoted player/first-team coach Damien Allen to player/assistant manager so Legg will quickly need to decide whether the two can strike up a solid working relationship.
It’s a big old job at Bangor City but Andy Legg is capable of moving the club forward, what is imperative however is that he is fully supported by the club’s new consortium after a spiky start to their tenure. The club have called a press conference which should shed more light on the current changes, interesting times ahead…
Update: The fall-out from Andy Legg’s first press conference –
Legg says deciding and only factor in choosing to join Bangor was that it’s the biggest club in the Welsh Premier. The club are playing catch-up as he’s only just come in and doesn’t think the club have had a good pre-season, so it will take time to assemble side. His priority is to work on organisation and having watched videos of the team a few players have stood out to him but he also (as you’d expect) wants to add bring in some of his own signings.
Legg labelled the opening game of the season against Cefn Druids as ‘massive’, as they’ve just come up; he said he needs his players to be fully committed and organised for opening games of the season, with them playing the first five at home.
His main target is to finish in the top-six, next year Legg wants to be competing for the league. Legg believes some of the teams are stronger since his last involvement in the WPL, and feels Connah’s Quay will push TNS hard this year.
You can listen in full via the club’s official AudioBoom here:
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