RUGBY TOWN: Jepson appoints new assistant

Rugby Town's new manager James Jepson
Rugby Town's new manager James Jepson

Valley set for another season in NPL South

New Valley boss James Jepson has moved quickly in appointing an assistant, by naming the experienced John Ramshaw as his right hand man this week.

He brings with him in excess of thirty years coaching and management in non league football, as the club seek to return to Step Three of the pyramid at the seventh time of asking in 2016/17.

Ramshaw finished last season as assistant-manager at National League Torquay United, but now returns to his familiar stomping ground of the Midlands, where he has worked at a number of clubs over his long career in the game.

This has included a particularly successful stint as manager of Hucknall in the late 1990’s, where he guided the team to two promotions and a number of cup triumphs and another at Eastwood alongside Paul Cox - who took Ramshaw with him to Torquay for the beginning of 2015/16.

He has been at many current NPL clubs including Leek, Kidsgrove, Hednesford and Lincoln United over the years, and was also on the coaching staff at Mansfield Town - where he ended up managing the Academy.

Ramshaw explained the lure of his new role: “At my age, I had had enough of the hassle of travelling nationally, and when James approached me with this opportunity, it ticked a lot of boxes for me.

“James and I have yet to be at the same club at the same time, but our paths have crossed on a number of occasions, and we have talked about the game at depth.

“We appear to think the same way about things, and he is a bright, intelligent lad, who I believe is going to have a great future in football management.

Town’s new assistant is looking forward to getting on with the new role: “We will be working hard through the summer to assemble a competitive squad within the budget, and then getting back into training towards the end of June.

“I see myself as a decent coach, and for such a young man James has amazing knowledge of players at this level and some excellent contacts.

“Bizarrely I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a game against a Rugby side over the years, but I have visited the ground on a number of occasions watching players, so I know the club quite well and also how good the set-up is here.

He concluded: “Hopefully James and I can combine what we are good at, and get the club back up to a level they deserve to be at.”

# The provisional league listings for the 2016/17 season have been released by the F.A., and Rugby have once more been placed in the Evostik NPL South Division.

There are five changes to the division from the end of the 2015/16 campaign, with play-off winners Coalville joining champions Stafford in being promoted, both Tividale and Daventry relegated and Goole shifted across to the North Division.

Replacing them are Bedworth and Stamford both relegated from the Southern League and NPL Premier respectively, Witton and Northwich Victoria moved over from the North Division, and AFC Rushden & Diamonds transferred in from the Southern League Central Division.

NPL South Division 2016/17 provisional allocation: AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Basford, Bedworth, Belper, Carlton, Chasetown, Gresley, Kidsgrove, Leek, Lincoln, Loughborough, Market Drayton, Newcastle, Northwich Victoria, Romulus, Rugby, Shaw Lane, Sheffield, Spalding, Stamford, Stocksbridge, Witton.