Tuffley Rovers have appointed a new assistant manager to assist first team manager Mark Pritchett for the new season, with the appointment coming from within.
Player, coach and football agent Alex O’Leary will step up to fill the void vacated by the outgoing Shayne Anson, who has agreed a move to Southern League West side Evesham United.
Anson’s departure on the back of the retiring duo of Dave Evans and Shayne Bradley leaving Glevum Park in the close season, had meant that Tuffley could be going into the season having lost a lot of experience.
O’Leary will provide Football League experience after his career took him to Colchester United. Injury cut short his full time playing career but O’Leary will continue to have a playing role within a Tuffley Rovers squad looking to build on a 10th place finish last season.
O’Leary has spoken to us about stepping up into the role and said that it was an easy decision to make in taking the role.
“I was player coach last year and had been taking a fair bit of the training sessions, warm ups on a match day etc anyway and loved it so it was an easy decision.
“Unfortunately for us Shayne Anson has left, who by the way will be a massive miss to us and Pritch [first team manager Mark Pritchett] asked me and there really wasn’t anything to think about in my mind.”
O’Leary runs JA Sports Management day to day and will be faced with a balancing act between Tuffley duties and being a football agent, but he was quick to point out that the balance could work out to be a positive for the club.
“The agency stuff will not be a problem as I’ve balanced it fine previously and hopefully it will actually come in handy as I can use my contacts to get or two more in for the season to come and if we need any help later down the line.”
O’Leary told us that he will be looking to continue his development as a coach by completing more of his coaching badges and has aspirations to progress as an individual as well as helping Tuffley during a vigorous Hellenic Premier campaign, which begins on Saturday 4th August.
The new assistant manager has been present at Tuffley Rovers pre-season training and ahead of Tuffley’s participation in the Severn Sport Shield pre-season tournament next week, he was excited with what he has witnessed in the early weeks of pre-season.
“So far so good. It is early days still but we have got some talented new faces in, which in turn with the existing squad and potentially one or two more faces and combined it should make for a very interesting group this season capable of spoiling the apple cart.”
Tuffley Rovers continue their pre-season schedule with a match at Cheltenham Town Academy on Saturday 7th July (11am kick off) before their semi final with local rivals Longlevens on Wednesday 11th July at Thornhill Park.