Jamie Crowther is no stranger to the Hollingsworth Group Stadium. In fact, he has dedicated over a decade of his life to being an important member of the club, from coaching the Academy to a stint playing for the first team.

After two seasons away from Broughton plying his trade for JD Cymru Premier outfit Caernarfon Town, Crowther returned to the Wingmakers last month in a player/coach role and he is delighted to be back - ready to embrace the challenges ahead.

“I’ve been at Airbus for over ten years as an Academy coach and I was part of one of the first teams in the Academy when it was set-up.

“I’ve coached with Skip (Mark Allen) previously, coaching the U16’s a few years ago, so it almost feels like coming home – that’s the best way to describe it.”

He continued: “I had previously played with Airbus in this league and ended up winning this league so I’ve got experience playing in this division. I think this year is going to be another tough year.”

Contributing with impressive performances on the pitch are high on the Welshman’s agenda for the upcoming campaign. He has also made no secret of his jubilation of having the honour to wear the number eight shirt for the Bus when the new season kicks off – even if as he admits, his new role on the coaching staff may have been a deciding factor behind him being offered his favoured number.

“Last year I was number eight with Caernarfon and it’s a number I’ve had for the last couple of years. When I came in and George Hughes had gone, I had a laugh and joke with Shosh (Steve O’Shaughnessy), saying now I’m on the coaching staff can I take my own number?

“Everyone knows I want to play in Centre Midfield and that’s my main position, but I play in other positions as well and it will be nice to wear that shirt. Especially, with it being the Airbus one where I’ve been for a long period with the Academy.”

The fantastic work done from the likes of Rick Chapman and Lee Starkey working with the younger age groups to develop players ready for men’s football, has resulted in the Wingmakers’ Academy becoming one of the best in Welsh football.

Crowther is excited by the host of graduates making their mark at the club. He is eager to coach and play alongside them to offer his advice and support.

“For me over the last couple of years, it’s been great playing for opposition teams against some of the Academy lads. To now get the opportunity to play with them, and also from the coaching side, I’m now able to work with them in a first team capacity and help them develop into first team footballers.

"Although I’m only 28 myself, that coaching nature has come out when I’ve been at first teams playing. I try and help the young lads out, even in training I’ve always tried to make sure I’ve looked after them and made them feel welcome. Being at Airbus and doing that is even better."

In modern football, it seems individuals in player/coach positions are few and far to come by. However, the midfielder knows his new role is the appropriate next step for his future aspirations.

“I think it is the next stepping stone for me. When I was at Caernarfon, the coaching staff would always ask for my opinion about the teams we were playing against and formations. I think I was always leaning towards that role anyway.

“It’s an exciting time for me. I’m still young and want to play. Everybody knows I want to be a manager one day but I’m in a situation where I can learn off Skip and Shosh and I have the best of both world’s at the moment.”


Joe Sargent - Airbus Media

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