“It’s not a quick fix, we are looking to build for the future” says Gala Wilton Joint Manager

Gala Wilton’s new Joint Manager Dan Gillespie says that he and fellow manager Ian Merrick will be looking to build a side capable enough to compete in the Gloucestershire County League in the 2019/20 season. 

Gillespie, who joins the club after managing Tuffley Rovers Reserves in Division One of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League last season, has told Severn Sport that off the field ambitions will spur on Gala – as they look to build on avoiding relegation last season.

“Our target is to firstly build a squad that can compete well at step 7. We know that it isn’t a quick fix so we are looking to build for the future. We will be looking to bring in some good young players who hopefully will stay with the club for many years. 

The club are in the process of extending the lease which will allow for the development of the ground, I know the club has permission for floodlights and want to install a new fence to be able to charge spectators an entrance fee. All those things are positive steps forward, so now we have to get it right on the pitch to push on. 

I was with the club for the second half of the 2017/18 and I watched as many Gala games as I could last season, so I know what most of the current squad has to offer as well. We are almost set on and off the pitch.” Gillespie added.

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Gillespie joins Merrick in leading a Gala side who survived on the final day of the County League season last term, and he couldn’t hide his excitement at a new challenge for the new season.

“I’m extremely excited for this challenge. My goal is to manage at the highest level I can and I am starting the UEFA B licence in October to help me match those ambitions. Mez [Joint Manager Ian Merrick] messaged me towards the end of the last season to see if he could tempt me back as joint manager, as soon as we spoke I knew I wanted to work with him. 

Gala are a sleeping giant in many respects and it’s our job now to build a strong squad of committed players. Andrew Moody was with me at Tuffley last season and is joining us as well as a goalkeeping coach, we want to make it feel as professional as possible and positive steps like that will only benefit us.”  

Gala start their pre-season training on 25th June in an open session for all players before training every Tuesday and Thursday from there, before their opening pre-season friendly against Roman Glass St George of the Western League on Saturday 29th June.

Ahead of the new season rumours are rife with talk that Gillespie is due to be joined by his former players at Tuffley Rovers Reserves, but the former Rovers man says we are currently in the “crazy season.”

“We have been chatting to a few players and I’ve been in dialogue with some good players who played for me in the past, who I think would be great additions.

It really is crazy season now though where players get offers from all over. Hopefully, we can tempt players to come along to pre-season so they can have a look at us and hopefully then they will like what they see and want to be a part of it.”


READ MORE: Former Tuffley Rovers man Alex O’Leary discusses a great season for Michael Kelly, Karnell Chambers & Keiran Thomas