'No brainer' for Gareth as he takes Fairford job

This Is Wiltshire: Former players Gareth Davies and Ady Roper, pictured with club president Mike Tanner, have returned to Fairford to replace the departed Paul Braithwaite Former players Gareth Davies and Ady Roper, pictured with club president Mike Tanner, have returned to Fairford to replace the departed Paul Braithwaite

GARETH Davies insists that it was a ‘no-brainer’ in returning to Fairford Town.

The former Malmesbury Victoria manager was named as Paul Braithwaite’s replacement late on Wednesday night at Cinder Lane.

As an ex-player at the Hellenic League Division One West club, Davies is delighted to be returning alongside assistant Ady Roper and coach Darren McCluskey.

“As soon as I heard that the job was available I contacted (club president) Mike (Tanner),” Davies said. “We had a chat and went in for the interview on Wednesday night.

“We had such a good time at Fairford when we were playing, they are a superb club with superb people and everything in place to take them forward.

“Coming back is a no-brainer, we had such an enjoyable time here as players I can’t wait to get started as the manager.”

Davies, who quit Malmesbury at the end of last season following their resignation from the Hellenic League, is hopeful that the majority of Fairford players will stay with the club and not follow Braithwaite to Wootton Bassett.

Although the new Cinder Lane boss expects a handful to make the step up to the Premier Division with Braithwaite, Davies already has eyes on his old players from Malmesbury.

“To be honest I would like to bring all of them with me to the club,” Davies said. “We started something at the end of the season and I’d love to have them all here.

“I’m not naive to think that all of the players here won’t follow Paul to Wootton Bassett, but I’d like to think that they will at least give me pre-season and see what we are about and trying to achieve.”

With Fairford’s pre-season programme already arranged, Davies’ first chance to see his new squad on the pitch on June 24 when they return for training.

The first home friendly for Davies is a game against a Swindon Town development squad on Tuesday July 15.

“It is nice that all that has already been done,” Davies said. “But we have been told if we want to we can squeeze a couple more in.

“First though, I need to speak to all the players, my phone is going to be glued to my ear all weekend.

“Of course, there will be new faces, ones I’ve worked with in the past and ones I haven’t.

“The average age of the squad at Malmesbury last year was 18-and-a-half, so hopefully we can keep the experienced players that are already at the club.

“We are back training in around two weeks time and I’m looking forward to starting.”

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