On Thursday 25th January, Connah's Quay Nomads announced that Neil Gibson had joined the First Team Coaching Staff and we recently caught up with Neil to talk about his first ten days at the Club.
How have your first ten days at the club been?
"I've really enjoyed it - it seems to have been a smooth transition to joining the club. Obviously, I would have enjoyed it even more has we won on Thursday night [against Bala Town]. Once Andy asked me to join and sold the direction that the club is moving in to me, it was too good of an opportunity to turn down."
On matchdays, we've not seen you in the dugout as yet, can you explain why you've been sitting where you have been?
"Obviously with Andy, Jay and myself, we have the opportunity to cover more bases. With only one person allowed to stand at pitchside in the league, I've been watching our games from the stand, which give me a fantastic view of the game and you can see things up there that you can't at pitch level. I'm in live communication with the bench so we can get messages onto the pitch to ensure that we cover as much as we possibly can, to give the players the best chance of being successful. The top six is going to be extremely competitive and any small advantage we can gain will make a huge difference."
You've already helped bring in Rob Hughes - what part did you play in that signing?
"Robbie is a player with undoubted ability - he's someone who has interested The Nomads previously and a player I know very well having signed and managed him at Prestatyn. I was aware that he was moving back from Australia and he had expressed an interest in working with me again, so when Andy was interested in him, it was something that was quite easy to make happen - with him wanting the opportunity of full time football with an aspirational club."
During your time at Prestatyn, what would you say was your biggest achievement?
"I look back on far too many happy and successful times at Prestatyn to mention them all, but the few that stick out are taking a small club from the third tier of Welsh football to the Welsh Premier League in my first three years at the club. Following that up with seven years in the top flight and then on relegation to the Cymru Alliance, building a new, young team and returning to the WPL with them - it's been a great 14 year journey.
The highlight would probably have to be the three months between May and August in 2013 - winning the Welsh Cup for the first time in the club's history, then progressions through a round in our first European experience along with beating Rhyl in the final of the North Wales Cup. I'm also very proud of my record of bringing over 60 academy products into the first team during my tenure - some of them have gone on to amass over 200 WPL games individually and more than 2000 between them."
What different challenges do you expect to face at The Nomads in comparison to the challenges you faced in your time at Prestatyn?
"I'm excited by the challenge we are facing here - there's a real battle in the top six and the league is getting better every year. I've had experience of top six football with Prestatyn for three years on the bounce between 2011 and 2013, so it's something I'm looking forward to being involved in. The success the club has had since Andy came in has been remarkable and striving to keep pushing our standards higher is something I'm keen to help play my part in. These sorts of challenges are the reason you are involved in football - to hopefully achieve them."
Gibson's next challenge as part of the coaching staff will be against Cardiff Met on Sunday 11th February at the Cyncoed Campus.