Bob Jeffrey, Llanelli AFC Academy Director took over the reigns as first team Manager last week, following the resignation of Andy Legg, with his first game the visit of The New Saints to Stebonheath Park on Saturday. Looking back to Saturday Bob said:
“The first game was bedlam I did not have chance to meet the players until 1 hour before kickoff and it was basically a team talk to introduce myself and Gary (Lloyd) and get on with the game. The good thing was we played the league champions so it was a game that no one expected us to get a result anyway given our recent circumstances.”
It had been a week of ups and downs, starting with the sad departure of manager Andy Legg and assistant manager Stephen Jenkins. However following the clubs chairman Nitin Parekh positively appointing academy director Bob Jeffrey as first team manager and Gary Lloyd as his assistant, the club finally received some good news with several of the clubs debts paid off, including the HRMC, former players and the council receiving payment on rent.
Looking to the future Bob has short term and longer term plans, saying:
“I have been around the Welsh Premier League for the last 10 years so I know most of the players and opposition. I know all of the opposition management teams and what we need to do to turn the club around. My short term plans are to stabilise the club, to try and get the people currently at the club to try and pull in the same direction. Then we wouldn’t have to rely on the chairman (Nitin Parekh) all the time. Longer term I would like to have a five year plan to make the club a community club and to get more local players playing for their town team. One of my first appointments will be a ‘Football in the Community Officer’ who can link between the community, schools and the academy and this will be done imminently.”
Bob’s Assistant Manager is Gary Lloyd, who was a coach under the previous management team of Andy Legg and Stephen Jenkins. Bob said: “Gary has been brilliant, he has a wealth of experience of this league both as a player and a coach and his love for the club is second to none. He has great rapport with the current players and they all look up to him. I am looking forward immensely to working with him.”
For Gary Lloyd, Reds new assistant manager it has been a difficult few weeks at the club. He said:
“I have been very close times on leaving the club, it’s been hard, especially with Andy and Steve leaving making things even harder. We will be aiming to get the moral going with the boys as it is rock bottom at moment. And suspensions and injures aren't helping, but with a full side I still think we can beat any side in the league. I would ask the supporters to be patient as the players are rock bottom at moment and need lifting. I just urge them to get behind us and stick with us through this difficult time.”