Caerleon joint-boss Simon Truman relishing opportunity to work with Andrew Beattie

One half of Caerleon’s joint-managerial partnership Simon Truman says he cannot wait to work with his partner Andrew Beattie ahead of the new season.

The pair were appointed following the relegation from the Welsh Football League last season and have been tasked with the job of bringing the club back to the fourth tier of Welsh football.

Some joint partnerships see one manager delegated to another role whilst the other continues different tasks but Truman says that that hasn’t been decided yet but is looking forward to the opportunity of working with someone with such experience and knowledge of the game, both in Wales and England.

“Who knows how this joint managerial situation will work, however I have had the pleasure of working under many many coaches and managers over the years and by far the stand out player, coach and manager I have worked with in last 25 years in football is Andy Beattie, who is a personal friend of mine also who I trust completely.

 If I was going to go in with anybody to help learn myself of how to become a manager, build a team from scratch, it would be him I would choose every time, thankfully he agreed.”

Beattie who featured for Merthyr Town in their 2-1 European vicotry over Italian side Atalanta had success in the Division with Pill three years ago, winning the Division One title, as well as winning the Amateur Cup and Challenge Cup all in the same season.

“Andrew has had success wherever he has gone at all levels of football, from the Conference down the Southern Leagues, All the Welsh leagues and the Premier League. He also has experience in the Gwent County, as a manager and a coach over the last 40 plus years.”

As well as Andrew Beattie working alongisde Truman, the club have also signed Jason Donovan who will work with the pair as Assistant-Manager, as well as a First Team player, offering experience both on the pitch and from the touchline.

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Donovan played for Newport County for a number of seasons and is described as a ‘hard worker on the pitch, who never shirked a tackle’

“Jason Donovan again is a personal friend of mine, who is one of Newport County top five appearance makers, he brings a wealth of experience along with still being in good shape, so will be ideal to use as and when on the pitch whenever needed.”

Off the pitch with his knowledge of the game, he will be great for our younger players as knows the game and an excellent communicator with very high standards expected of himself and those around him.”

After suffering relegation, some players have sought new clubs as the manager seeks to add a bit of freshness to the squad and with that came the signings of nine new players.

Ben Roberts, Luke Cueto, Scott Lewis, Ryan Cueto Mark Dunn, Peter Little, Kris Hanbury and Jason Donovan have all joined the new look Caerleon side, with Truman happy with how the recruitment process has gone for the club over the course of the summer.

“We have made new signings and have brought in a mixture of experience and proven players, in both Gwent County and Welsh League standard, along with keeping five or six lads from last year’s squad.”

Despite being relegated last season and perhaps being expected to bounce back from relegation due to their standing last year, the new Caerleon boss says that it will take time for The Romans to be at their best and that the club is going through a period of transition.

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“Caerleon have had a tough few years and of course relegation is tough to take as a player, however the lads attitude has been very positive from last year, told them forget about that it’s in the past, it’s gone time for a new chapter, fresh start and clean slate for everybody.”

With my own experience of playing the last 20 plus years, we are hoping we have enough to make it a successful season, as long as our players buy into how we do things and apply it on the pitch, which will take time.

The Gwent County League Division One is a relatively tough division to get out of with many sides with so much quality in recent years,

“We are not getting too carried away with how and what we are going to do as brand new, so will take some time to settle a side, which formation best suited, personnel etc. We will take one game at a time and focus on that.

First realistic target is can we hopefully be in the top half of league by Christmas, if so myself and Andy be happy with that as a start.”

With so much competitiveness in Division One of the Gwent County League this season, Truman has highlighted Villa Dino Christchurch who won promotion last season as one of the teams to watch, with Newport YMCA, Pontymister and Fairfield United close on their tails.

“I think the stand out sides will be Villa Dino who are charging through the leagues at present, along with Albion who are always there or thereabouts, plus likes of Newport YM I know have recruited well for this season, Pontymister and Fairfield who I hear will be strong.”

Truman’s first competitive games will be fellow Gwent County League side Cwmbran Town in the Welsh Cup and Blaenavon Blues in his first league game, with the aim of starting the season well.

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“Cwmbran Town in Welsh cup, again another side with great history who will be aiming high this season, expecting a tough game, a tough season in fact in this league.

It is my first time in this league and at this level, I am under no illusion how tough it will be, I’ve got the right team around me. With Andrew, Jason and Jamie Hillier as my assistants, we have a squad to start off season, so will give it our best shot and see where it takes us.”

(Featured Image: Caerleon AFC)

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