In this week's Who's Who at Deeside, we speak to Mark Rowlands of the First Team coaching staff.
How long have you been at the club?
I've been at The Nomads for 10 years now - it started as a trial with the first team under Jim Hackett and Ken Price, and I played a few reserve games. The academy was just starting up again and an opportunity to go into coaching was offered to me. We started with just two teams, the U13s and U15s and I've helped to grow the academy to what it is now.
Where do you live?
I live in Liverpool with my partner Lauren and our two girls, Lillie (18 months) and Daisie (5 months). I have an older daughter Jade who is 24 and also have a granddaughter, Harper, who is 14 months old.
What do you do in your day to day job away from the Nomads?
I am a care worker for Local Solutions in Liverpool. I've worked as a care worker for four years and I mainly provide all personal care to vulnerable adults.
How did you get into the football side of things?
I've always been football mad from a young age - I loved playing 5-a-side and played in leagues four nights a week, going on to manage and play in many leagues around Liverpool. It wasn't until the age of 28 that I was spotted playing and signed for Skelmersdale Utd. I spent a season there (mostly on the bench) and the club gained promotion in that year. I was lucky enough to play in the FA cup games which was an honour. I moved to Connah's Quay in 2008 for three years and the rest is history.
What does your role at the club involve?
I have had many roles at the club over the years, from coaching different age groups in the academy to managing the reserve team then being assistant academy director to Jay Catton. I now coach the U16s at the academy and my role within the first team is to assist with coaching sessions, match day warm ups and video'ing games for analysis.
Best memory at the Nomads?
There are so many I could mention. On a personal level from the academy, winning the reserve league as manager in the 2011/12 season. Getting our U16s to the Academy Cup Final having won every game along the way 2012/13. Winning U19s league as assistant 2012/13. Managing our U19s to their first youth cup final in 68 years against Swansea city was also a massive achievement by the players in the 2015/16 season.
First team memories have to be our Europa League wins against Stabæk and HJK Helsinki (and the nights out afterwards!), but for the pure feeling and emotion having been at this club for years has to be our win in the play off final against Airbus to get us into Europe for the first time in the clubs history - that feeling was incredible.
It's been great to learn from some great managers we have had over the years including Jim, Macca, Alan and Andy and to work with some great coaches like Neil, Jay and now Gibbo. The people we have at our club behind the scenes are incredible. Vicky, John, Roma, Trev, Nik and all the match day staff - they do so much for the club. It's a great club with great people.