- Gwent clubs seek new managers

NATHANIEL Cars Welsh League Division One sides Risca United and Monmouth Town are both managerless after Paul Michael and Andrew Smith respectively both resigned to take over Southern League Cinderford Town.

Michael, 30, quit Risca to join Cinderford as manager and has quickly moved to name former Newport County midfielder Smith as his assistant boss.

Risca have put Michael's number two Simon Berry in temporary charge for their next fixture at home against Haverfordwest County on Saturday, November 19, while Monmouth have yet to decide who will be in charge in their dug-out at leaders Goytre on the same day.

After making his first-team debut at 16, Michael twice left to play for Haverfordwest in the Welsh Premier League and then Clevedon Town in the Southern Premier League and also had a brief spell in the WL with Taffs Well.

He returned for a third spell when he became one of the youngest managers in WL history at the age of just 24 in October, 2010, and turned around a struggling Division Three club into a top-flight outfit.

He is also credited with helping to set up the Risca's highly-successful academy

Smith, 33, is a former Wales under-18 caps who returned to his home-town club after spells with Newport County, Weston-Super-Mare and Clevedon Town and managed The Kingfishers from the Gwent County Division Three into the Welsh League. 

Part of a statement issued by Michael reads: “It is with regret I have resigned as manager of Risca United Football Club.

“The committee gave me unbelievable support from the start to the end and this club, it would not exist without the efforts of these few and I thank you for the role each of you have played in supporting me, the team and the club.”

Risca also put out a statement: “Paul (Michael) has been so much more than a player-manager and his vision, passion, desire, inspiration and application of his skills and attributes has literally transformed the club and football in the surrounding area.”

Smith remarked: “I've had some fantastic times managing Monmouth in two spells and I'd like to thank everyone who I've worked with in recent years, especially those who work tirelessly behind the scenes for little reward.”

A statement from Monmouth secretary David Slater confirmed Smith's departure and continued: “The Kingfishers would like to thank Andrew Smith for all his efforts, both as a player and manager, and wish him every success in his new position. 

“He was as a key figure in the successful rise of the club through the Gwent County and Welsh Leagues, leading to winning the Division One title (as assistant to previous boss Steve Jenkins) in 2014.

“The international break gives the club time to consider all options as we look to build again, with the immediate aim of securing our Division One status.”