“It’s time for me to step down” says Gloucester City Under 18s mastermind

One of the masterminds behind Gloucester City Under 18’s league and cup double winning campaign is stepping away from the club to take a break from football.

Neil Mustoe, who has been a stalwart for the first team at Gloucester City before taking the reigns alongside Kenny Blackburn as Under 18s manager four years ago, is leaving the club.

Talking exclusively to Severn Sport after his side clinched the league title on Wednesday, Mustoe revealed that personal reasons have dictated that he must take a break from football for the forthcoming season.

“It’s the time for me to step down” Mustoe said. “The boys already knew, I told them on Monday night and it was a really difficult thing to do.

“It’s sad to be stepping away but my family commitments are increasing; my kids are growing up, they need me to ship them around to after school clubs, teams and stuff that they’re doing and I’m relying on other people to do it.

“With all that, I can’t fully commit which is a shame, and if I can’t give something 100% of my dedication then I don’t really want to do it. It’s not fair on the boys or the club so I think it’s time for me to step down and for somebody else to come up and see what they can do.”

Mustoe has not completely shut the door on the club behind him, and hasn’t ruled out a return to Gloucester City, at any level.

“Hopefully my 16 year love affair with the club isn’t over” he said. “It’s a gap year or two that’s been forced upon me for family reasons.

“One thing though is never say never. I would also like to add that I’ve got no involvement with football next year at all, I’m having a complete and utter break, then we’ll see what the future holds.”

Mustoe is one of the club’s leading appearance makers, having turned out for the Tigers over 380 times across a 12 year association with the first team.

After masterminding the Under 18s to a league and cup double as well as an appearance in the FA Youth Cup 1st Round Proper, where they narrowly lost out to Oxford United in extra time, Mustoe has heaped praise on his Young Tigers side and looks ahead to where their careers can go from here.

“All I want, realistically, is for the boys to have a pathway to the first team” he said. “Unfortunately with the club in the situation it is in, there hasn’t been that route in the four years I’ve been here.

“We’ve got a lot of players playing at Bishop’s Cleeve, Shortwood and Tuffley and I think it’s a bit of a shame that when you’ve got a small budget you can’t produce your own players because there’s no stepping stone like a development or reserve squad for them.

“The players have got the ability, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. Everyone says about strength and how “they’ll get found out in the National League” but if they’re good enough then why not throw them in? Some of these boys really could make a difference.”