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Rob and Andy's penultimate game in charge saw Ketton lift the SRSN Daniels Cup after beating Blackstones 2-1

 Leaving Ketton not an easy decision for Ward or Gray


Stamford AFC Club Shop

 

Former boss to join Mazarella at PNS while

assistant reluctantly steps down after nine years 

 


EXCLUSIVE with John Feetham

 

Stepping down as Ketton's first team management duo certainly wasn't a decision Rob Ward and assistant Andy Gray took lightly. 

Andy is taking time away from the game while Rob will commence a coaching role with UCL Premier Division side Peterborough Northern Star.

 

Andy Gray and Rob Ward

Andy Gray (left) and Rob Ward with the SRSN Daniels Cup




Andy’s decision ends a nine year run of management at the club, switching between first and reserve teams along with performing a whole host of other roles behind the scenes at the club.

 

Said Andy: “It is a bittersweet decision.  I am getting married next year while my new job has been very demanding on my time. I have really enjoyed my time with the club, especially working with Rob over the last 18 months. With him stepping away I thought it would be the ideal time."

 

Rob emphasised: “To leave Ketton was probably one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in football. As I said before, it is a club I hold dear to my heart and one I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of. 

''I asked myself what I want from football' 

“I have spent the last year watching local  games, mostly UCL football, and it has made me ask myself what I want from football and I came to the conclusion I want to push myself as far as I can and test myself. I have never been one to plod on in a role in football or work so it was clear I needed a new challenge.

 

He continued: "I wasn’t concerned about not having a job to move into. I knew the right one would come up if I was patient. I always encourage players to test themselves and push on when they need to and it’s the same for a manager.”

 

Andy continued: “When I look back at where the club was nine years ago to where it is now, it is an incredible achievement from everyone involved. I have had a few clubs enquire about getting involved with them but, to be honest, I have very little interest in doing that. I want to take a break and I could never be involved at a club that may possibly play against Ketton.”

 

Both indicated that they won’t be strangers at Pit Lane next season:

 

Rob commented: “I have really enjoyed the last couple of years at Ketton. I felt at home from the minute I arrived and still feel that way now. The lads I have worked with have been great and, although the league position may not indicate it, I really felt we have kicked on this season.

 

I guess beating Bourne, Lions and Blackstone’s to win the SRSN Daniels Cup shows that. It really is a great club to be part of and, despite moving on to PNS, I will be a frequent visitor to Pit Lane to see everyone and I hope that the whole club can keep progressing.” 

''I will still be doing a bit of media work for the club'

Andy also added: “I live just around the corner and I will certainly wander up and show my face. It will be nice to go up watch the game and have a pint and not worry about nets, corner flags, water bottles etc. I will still be doing a bit of media work for the club.

 

Rob explained how the PNS role came about: “Once I had told Ketton I was moving on I put the word out to a few clubs that I was looking to do some coaching while I was waiting for the next manager's job to come up.

 

PNS Manager Raffa Mazzarella

Raffa Mazzarella




"That led to Raffa Mazerella (PNS first team manager)  and I having quite a long conversation over the phone and then we met up a couple of days later. Raff laid out what he was looking for at PNS and, although it is not a manager’s job, it really interested me.

 

"PNS have worked hard over the last year to set themselves up well and build the foundations to develop season on season. While I was with Raff I met a few of the committee as well and they all seemed really positive about the club going forward and getting me involved so it felt like a really good fit.

It’s a new challenge, new club and I am really excited to get cracking." 

'Coaching qualifications speak for themselves'

 

On working with Rob, Raffa added: “His coaching qualifications speak for themselves. He has also done very well in his time at Ketton so, with him now working at a higher standard of football, the players will improve every week around that quality of coaching.

 

"We got on very well at our first meeting and had very similar outlooks on football so I think it is a really good fit for both PNS and Rob.”

 

Ketton are inviting applications for their vacant first and reserve team managerial roles.

 

Andy concluded: “It is a fantastic club with fantastic people behind the scenes. With the new facilities ready for the new season it is a brilliant opportunity for someone to get involved and continue to push the club forward.”

 

Any applicants for the first team position are asked to send an email to chairman Sooty Pearce at phsstamford@yahoo.co.uk stating their football experience.


Published: 19/05/2017





 
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