First of all, he’s not Jim Gannon. Let’s just get that out of the way.
Anyway, Neil Young, and his assistant Gary Jones, have been appointed as manager and assistant manager of our club for the next 2 seasons at least. So for those of you who don’t know the history of our new leader, we’ve decided to compile a little post on everything and anything you’d want to know.
Neil Young did not have too distinguished a playing career, Tranmere youth team, Conwy United and Droylsden are the only teams Young has played for. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury meant Young had to retire at the age of 24. Assistant manager Jones did have a more defined playing career, spending the majority of his time at Tranmere Rovers, whilst also having spells at Nottingham Forest.
The first major team that Young managed was Colwyn Bay, and along with Jones as his right hand man, he guided them to 4th position in their first season. The following season they finished 4th again, but this time Bay were promoted through the playoffs. Despite the promotion, Young left for Chester to manage the club at the level he’d just recently got Bay promoted from, the northern premier league division 1 (2 steps below County). At the first season of asking, Young and Jones guided Chester to the top of the table, just beating Skelmersdale to 1st place after a shaky end to the year. The season after, in the northern premier league (1 step below County), Young again won Chester the title, this time more comfortably, beating Northwich Victoria to the title by 17 points. The following season, Young, Jones and Chester set a new points record in the conference north (107) as they easily claimed their 3rd successive promotion and a place in the conference north.
Young’s hopes of a 4th promotion in as many seasons was not fulfilled, with Chester in the relegation zone in January, Young left the club by mutual consent as assistant Jones took over the management of the team. Following the appointment of Steve Burr, Chester finished 21st that season, technically in the relegation places, but Hereford’s expulsion from the conference gave them a reprieve. Since leaving Chester, Young hasn’t managed, despite this he has been attending games to ensure his education of the game did not suffer whilst being out of work. On the 16th of May, he was confirmed, along with his long time assistant Gary Jones, as the management team tasked with getting County out of this division.
Will it happen? Who knows, but the majority of the support seem as happy as can be considering he isn’t Jim Gannon. He has shown a ruthless side, with all but 2 original players expected to leave before the start of the season. Whether this ruthfulness translates into an improved County taking the field in August, only time will tell.
On a similar note, it’s worth heading on over to grab a County season ticket before the end of May if you can, a mid tier price scheme has been offered to fans looking to act following Young’s appointment. Hopefully, 3rd time will be the charm for County and in 12 months we will be celebrating promotion to the Conference National.