Shropshire Star

Jack Griffiths takes over at AFC Bridgnorth

Jack Griffiths will head up an new management group at AFC Bridgnorth.


Griffiths, who was in charge of first team affairs at the end of last season following the departure of Steve McCormick, is set to combine his role as under-18s boss with overseeing the senior set-up.

He will be joined by assistants Darren Bracknell and Ash Grainger from the under-18s and senior players Charlie Swingwood and Brett Taylor in the new-look structure.

The club have moved quickly to resolve the managerial set up having been granted an end-of-season reprieve and not been relegated from the Midland League.

And now Griffiths will be looking to utilise some of the talented youngsters from the under-18s side alongside Swingwood and Taylor as well as other senior players

“We have a new management group and Jack will oversee it all,” said secretary Steve Groome. “He impressed us when he stepped up to manage the side towards the end of the season. It was tough for him and the young players at first, but they got better and better each week.

“We spoke to him about the workload but he was keen to do both roles. We now have a management group who know the club and know how we operate.

“As well as Darren and Ash assisting him, Jack will also have Charlie and Brett on hand. They are two senior players and with their contacts they will hopefully help us attract a few new players.

“We have some talented young players but we don’t want to burn them out and we are also concious of the fact they will have a good chance of doing well in the Floodlit League this season.

“We want to utilise some of the young talent and add some more experience as well.

“We are realistic about our aims, which are to not be in the bottom three going into the last game. That is what we have told Jack and then we can look to build from there.”

The club are holding an open training session at Crown Meadow on June 15 (10am). Any interested players are welcome to attend.

Meanwhile, new-look Market Drayton Town are set for an early return to pre-season training next week – with just a sprinkle of familiar faces on board.

Dan Dawson, the newly-appointed boss this summer, has his recruitment drive well under way as Drayton bid to arrest a slump over the last few years.

They will head into the North West Counties First Division South again, kick-starting in late July, after a reprieve from relegation last season and the club aim to be fighting among the top spots.

Boss Dawson, who joined from Newcastle-under-Lyme outfit Redgate Clayton of the division below, has carried out a large overhaul with a new squad to freshen up the Greenfields club, but a cluster of last season’s better performers, featuring some hometown players, have been offered the chance to impress again. The club are expected to play seven friendlies before the July 27 kick-off.

Joining the new group for Tuesday night’s first training session will be midfield duo Levi Hunter, vice-captain and fans’ player of the year last season, and Drayton lad Connor Dunne.

Forward Callum Jackson, also from the town, has been offered the chance to re-sign, as well as fellow local attacker Kieran Brisbourne.

Manager’s player of the year last season Matty Cutler, who played 35 games, the most in the side, aged 19, will also be part of next season’s squad. The full-back is joined by midfielder Conrad Muir.

Boss Dawson has also brought Dom Smith back to the ranks. The goalkeeper was briefly player-boss and played a coaching role last term, in which he played 21 games and was regularly player of the match. Academy graduate keeper Isaac Middleton will also remain at the club with an eye on the futu

Dawson’s first signing, following him from Redgate Clayton, is his keeper from last season Matt Holmes. The 33-year-old conceded just 17 goals in 30 league games.

Dawson said of plans ahead: “It is quite early (to return), but it’s only about seven weeks before the first game of the season, in the last Saturday in July. We’ve got seven friendly dates in there which doesn’t otherwise leave too much time for training sessions unless we start then.

“With there being quite a big overhaul and a lot of changes behind the scenes, we need that time to implement the patterns and style of play we’d like to be ready to go for the first game of the season.”