New management can’t wait to start

Tim ChannonClub News, First Team

THE Seagulls’ new management team of Welsh-born Alan Morgan and ex-Colwyn Bay defender Craig Hogg say they can’t wait to get started.

 The pair had a very successful partnership at Llandudno, lifting the club from near the foot of the Cymru Alliance in 2012 to the title and a place in the Welsh Premier League by the end of the 2014/15 season – and subsequently qualifying for the Europa League last season where they played IFK Gotenborg of Sweden in one of the biggest games in Llandudno’s history.
 The 44-year-old Morgan, who was born in Aberystwyth,  is a youth development coach working every day in a professional environment at Tranmere Rovers, where he made 65 appearances as a player. He made his debut in a 2-0 win over Port Vale in August 1996, but injuries restricted his number of appearances and he moved on for spells at Doncaster Rovers and Morecambe before returning to Wales with Connah’s Quay Nomads and Bangor City, where he was assistant manager to Neville Powell for a spell, helping the Citizens to two successive seasons in Europe.
  He also had a spell as manager at Aberystwyth and helped them to a top four finish.
 Locally-based Craig Hogg, 36, lives in Colwyn Heights and played at the Bay with the likes of Colin Caton, Glen Graham, Deiniol Graham and James McIlvogue after being released by Everton, and later the centre back joined Llandudno where he captained them to the Cymru Alliance title.
 Colwyn Bay chairman Dave Titchiner said: “Alan has been  successful in Welsh football  and is very keen to go up the ladder in the English pyramid. He wants the team to play good football and the players here have shown that they are capable of that.
 “Its nice for a Welsh club to have a Welsh manager with an assistant manager who lives in the town. Hopefully we can be successful together.
 “It shows the standing of the club that we had 24 applications for the manager’s job, including some strong candidates, and I would like to thank every one them for their interest in applying.”
 The new manager was at training on Thursday to meet the players for the first time in what says is his dream job.
 “I had a few years at Llandudno, but I’ve always wanted to have a go in the English system and being just down the road from Colwyn Bay and always looking for their results, this is a job I’ve always wanted to get my hands on,” he said.
 “I’m looking forward to the challenge. It was good to meet the lads for the first time and we had a good session. I can’t wait for Saturday.
 “I was at the game last Saturday against Droylsden and there are good players here. Its good to come into a job where there are good players; they just need to play with a smile on their face and go out and show what good players they are.”
 He said Saturday’s game at Kendal Town will be mainly a watching brief for him and Craig.
 “I’ll be in the changing room before hand and at half-time, but Anthony Griffith and Jack (Horner) will take it and be in the dug out. Craig and I will be in the stand to get a good look at things, but if there is something we think needs addressing we’ll pass it on.
 “We’ll need a couple of games to get to know everyone and its about taking it day by day at the moment.”
  The only doubt for Saturday looks to be Jamie Menagh who has an ankle injury which forced him to miss training on Thursday, while Gaz Grant was also an absentee.
  •  Match updates from Kendal will be on Twitter @ColwynBayFC and there will be regular updates via Listen Live on BBC Radio Cumbria.
TOP PHOTO:  The new management team of Ala Morgan (left) and Craig Hogg (right) with chairman Dave Tiotchiner.