Following the arrival of Andy Preece as the new Director of Football at Airbus UK Broughton FC on a three-year deal, the former Bury and Northwich Victoria manager attended a press conference at the Airfield to give his views on the appointment. Alongside him was former Manchester City defender Andy Morrison, who follows Andy from Northwich to take on the Assistant Manager role at the club.
Former Crystal Palace and Wrexham striker Preece said: "Obviously the three-year contract was key to the decision to come here. It gives us a platform to build on over a number if years. It's a long-term project we can do in stages and we haven't been in that position before at our other clubs, who have had problems financially. This club is on a stable footing, we don't have to worry about things off-the-pitch here".
On arriving mid-season: "Coming into the job mid-season we will have to learn things quickly but we've been in that situation before and finished season's really strongly. It's about a long-term plan, the immediate goal is to put out a team to maintain a 7th place finish this season but with the potential to be a force in the Welsh Premier. No doubt about it, we feel we have the ambition and the skill to bring that to the club. We can't wait to get started".
On immediate targets: "The transfer window means we can't sign players as we go along, it has to be done in a short period of time so that is going to be a test for us. A 7th place finish would give us a play-off place and we are still in the Welsh Cup - so the target has to be to give ourselves a chance of qualifying for Europe. Darren Ryan (who returns to the Airfield as part of the new coaching set-up) has lots of experience in the Welsh Premier having managed in the league and we will learn as we go along. It's a good challenge for us and we are prepared to put the work in to get results".
On future plans: "We are always looking at players to strengthen teams but while we are doing that we always look to improve the players we have got. I spoke to Stewart Roberts (Chief Operating Officer) and he told me the plans and ambition for the club and I was really impressed. Leaving Northwich second in the league and in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy shows what I think of the ambitions at Airbus. The chance to test ourselves in Europe is a big draw and you don't often get that opportunity unless you're in the Premiership"
On the new management team and club structure: "We have always worked together and work well having different strengths that complement each other. It's a team effort and that will be the way we go about things - we have always achieved results at the clubs we've been at. I feel that this club is set up in a way which could achieve really good things. The facilities are really good and going to get better, so it's exciting times at the football club over the next few years".
Chairman Paul McKinlay added: "I am absolutely delighted that Andy Preece and Andy Morrison have agreed to join Airbus UK Broughton FC. It is not only a great step forward but a massive coup and shows the level of ambition we have as a club. We had a superb list of applicants but Andy Preece really stood out - and really shares our vision for the club, and more importantly, how we plan to progress".
"I would also like to place on record my thanks to Craig Harrison for the work he did and also Gareth Owen for his efforts at the Airfield. They have created a good platform for the new team to build on, with Andy Thomas providing the continuity which will also be important. It is an exciting time for the club, and I look forward to working with the team to hopefully deliver a play-off place at the end of the season".
By Rory Sheehan