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Club News


11 September 2012

Alan Walsh returns as U-18 coach

Rovers are delighted to announce the appointment of Alan Walsh as their new Youth Team Manager.

Alan will have responsibility for looking after the U-18 side and takes up his appointment with immediate effect.

He is no stranger to football supporters in this area, having played almost 300 league games for Bristol City.

Alan was Rovers Community Officer from 1996 – 2000 and before returning to Ashton Gate, where he undertook a variety of posts.

“When I first went back to City I oversaw the schoolboy programme they had in place at that time, and then I coached the U-16’s and U-17’s before going on to look after the U-19’s and then moved up to become development/reserve team coach.

“I classed my time in those posts as an apprenticeship, having started with the Academy and then progressed through the club. Unfortunately, though, things change and when you move up with the first team and when results aren’t what are expected then you become a casualty of any managerial changes.

“If I’m honest I like to be involved with the youth set up and I am, delighted to be taking this position at Rovers. The first team experience I had at City, although excellent, didn’t give me that day to day involvement of taking, and coaching, a team all week for a game on a Saturday.”

Alan has been out of the game for almost 11 months now since being released by City.

“It’s been a very difficult time. When you first lose your job you think you will get back into coaching very quickly. As a player, coach, and Community Officer, I had 35 years’ experience of being involved in the game and all of a sudden that stopped.

“The longer time goes on without getting a job, you start to doubt yourself and it’s difficult. Thankfully, this job has come along and I’ve come back to Bristol Rovers and hope I can have an input into the youth system.”

Although he only started back with the club today, he went along to watch the U-18’s in action against Plymouth Argyle last Saturday.

“I was impressed with the performance and looked like a disciplined, well organised, group of young players. I think they were the better team on the day and although they didn’t quite manage a win, I was very impressed with the way they played.”

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