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SLIMBRIDGE: coach Coyle makes step up

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Slimbridge interim manager Tom Speers has added highly-rated former reserves and youth coach Adam Coyle to his backroom staff, writes Tim Blake.

Coyle has moved up to work alongside Speers and Tom Deakin.

“I love Adam,” Speers said “He’s a great lad first and foremost and we get on very well. To boot he is also a very good coach and has great links within the Gloucestershire area and beyond with all his previous employers. I can’t wait to get him more involved, he knows the club inside out, and it’s a huge positive for the first team to have him on board.”

Meanwhile, Speers praised his side after a hard-won point in a scoreless draw at Bristol Manor Farm.

Speers insisted his current side reminded him of the old Slimbridge side that he used to play in. Speers made 84 appearances for the Swans between 2010 and 2013, scoring 12 goals. 

He said: “You always knew when you played us, that you were going to have to battle and fight for everything from the game, and we saw that kind of attitude from the boys at Bristol Manor Farm. 

“I was really impressed with the attitude and application that we showed as a side, we worked so hard to make sure we didn’t concede, and when we went forward, we were playing some good confident football. It was a very pleasing display. 

“I’ve said previously that we were suffering from a soft underbelly, and we needed to gain more steel and grit, and I saw that in abundance yesterday. We now need to retain that steeliness and confidence, and it gives us a solid base to build on that means we can start working on the quality of our football because we have some fantastic players in the squad in terms of talent.”

One of the emerging features of the side is the inclusion of players who have worked their way into first-team contention through the thriving Under 18 and Reserve sides, with six members of yesterday’s squad coming through that pathway. 

Speers added: “My background is being a development coach, so I have always worked on creating players who can play in the first team at whatever club I have been at. We’ve got some really good young players coming through with Rio (Tomlin), and Raiyan (Ahmed) starting yesterday, plus Liam (Harper) and Tyler (Jaggers) both coming on and making contributions, with George (Driver-Dickerson) and Isaac (Thurston) also on the bench. 

“The young lads are doing well, they are taking on board the information we are giving them, and they want to learn. We need to start being more consistent as a team, we have to learn how to do that, and obviously with younger players that is all part of their development. We already have a strong squad, and the players have seen what they can achieve with the desired effort and concentration, it’s doing that on a more consistent basis that is now important. 

“Overall, I was delighted with the point, we have a good run of games coming up now, so we need to continue what we’re doing and build on the foundations we’re putting in place.” 

Swans’ co-chairman Barry Gay echoed his manager’s words. Speaking after the game, he said: “I am so proud today, the lads showed real grit and determination, and the young boys are a breath of fresh air. The future looks very bright for all our sides.

The Swans return to action on Saturday (11th December, 3.00pm KO) when they entertain Highworth Town at Thornhill Park, while the Reserves travel to Malvern Town Development on Saturday (11th, 3.00pm KO). Prior to that, the Under 18 side host Hereford Pegasus Under 18s at Thornhill Park on Tuesday (7th December, 7.30pm KO)

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