Powell stays to lead Chalford into County League Campaign


Ben Powell has u-turned on his decision to leave Chalford, the newly promoted Gloucestershire County League side have announced.

In January, Powell had announced that he and Assistant, Ben Newman would depart the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League champions – but after leading his side to back-to-back Division One titles and subsequent promotion, Powell will remain in charge for the 2024/25 season.

Newman, however, will not be returning to the dugout and Powell will be Co-Manager with Nat Buckland.

Powell and Buckland will be joined by Ollie Wood, who moves from being Assistant Manager at Winchcombe Town to join the new-look management at Highfield Way.

The news comes following rumours that the Chalford managers would be set to withdraw their resignations after a scintillating 2024, including a run of 18 games unbeaten to climb the table and retain their GNSL crown.

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Speaking to Severn Sport about his decision, Powell admits it wasn’t a straight forward one to make.

“Strangely it was a tough decision. I’d honestly prepared myself that this was my last season at the club and was happy with my decision and how we were leaving things.

It wasn’t until after the Tredworth game when Martin [Chairman Martin Smith] called and said ‘will you stay if we go up?’ – then I started to give it some thought.

I knew once we won the play-off that I had to give it serious consideration and have some strong negotiations with Mrs Powell!

The lads have played a big part in my decision as well. The group[ is ready to go again and if they’re happy with me at the helm, then let’s give it another go,” said Powell.

“I’ve been at the club since I was 14 and to lead them into their highest ever position is an opportunity I can’t say no to!” Powell added.

Powell also praised his departing Managerial partner, Ben Newman, whilst sharing his excitement to be joined by Buckland.

“No Newman is a massive change. We’ve been a duo for seven years and know how each other works, we probably talk to each other more than our own wives!

I understand his reasons for not continuing and completely support those, but we’ve left the door open if he wants to return and help out when needed.

Natty [Buckland] was always the obvious choice to work alongside going forward. He supported me and Newman from January and it’s no coincidence that we went on an unbeaten run from then on!

Like Newman, he knows how I work and that is important going forward. With Ollie coming in to, we will look to hit the ground running,” said Powell.

Buckland expressed his excitement to work alongside Powell and Wood for the new season.

“I’m buzzing to get going properly, having some involvement this year and working alongside Powello and Newman gave me a taste of what is to come.

Powello staying is massive for the club and with the introduction of Ollie, we all believe this special club can have yet another special season,” Buckland said.

Cover photo taken and with copyright by Pete Kinsella. For more great photos follow Pete on Twitter @PeteKinsella69

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