Eric Ramsay: Sam Ricketts is the man for Shrewsbury progress
Former coach Eric Ramsay has backed Shrewsbury Town to continue their progression under the driven leadership of Sam Ricketts.
Welshman Ramsay is extremely highly rated in football circles and last July earned himself a move to become assistant to the under-23s team at the acclaimed Chelsea academy, aged just 27
The Shrewsbury-born coach spent just two years back at Town after joining as head of academy coaching from Swansea City in 2017. In late 2018, after the sacking of John Askey, Ramsay joined Danny Coyne for a successful spell in caretaker charge.
So impressive was the coach that he was kept on by new boss Ricketts for first-team duties, stepping into senior football where he was well received.
Ramsay feels Shrewsbury are the ‘envy’ of many lower-league clubs and believes their upward trajectory will continue.
“Naturally I’ve followed Shrewsbury closely over the course of the season just gone – both at academy and first-team level,” Ramsay told the Shropshire Star. “I’m sure the club is the envy of many others at the moment given its incredibly solid base, infrastructure and the progression of the academy.
“As well as (brother) Alex working with the club’s under-16s, I still keep in touch with Sam, (academy manager) David Longwell and a number of the other academy coaches.
“I’m sure that regardless of how Sam felt the season went he will want to keep pushing toward the next level.
“He is that sort of character, he showed the ability in his playing career to improve year on year and climb through the leagues and undoubtedly he has that continual progression in mind for Shrewsbury Town.”
Ricketts said last year that Ramsay, who was based on the mid-Wales border at Llanfyllin before his switch to west London, would be a real loss for the club.
Last September, Ramsay became the youngest ever Brit to gain his UEFA Pro Licence – the top level on offer.
And the coach was enjoying his first campaign with Chelsea’s talented youngsters before lockdown. The Blues under-23s side were unbeaten at the helm of the Premier League 2 and about to clinch the title, while he also sampled UEFA Youth Champions League action with the under-19s.
The integration with Frank Lampard’s first-team has been impressive, this year alone Ramsay worked with midfield prodigy Billy Gilmour and full-back Tariq Lamptey.