Wayne Jones - a manager on a mission

Wayne JonesWhen Wayne Jones stood up at Haverfordwest County’s annual presentation evening at the end of the 2018/19 season he made the customary speech expected of the club’s manager, highlighting the season and announcing the various award winners.
But at the end of his speech the manager known to all as ‘Wolvesy’ because of his avid following of Wolverhampton Wanderers, dropped a bit of a bombshell.
“The club has allowed us to invest in more players for next season,” he announced, “with the clear aim of gaining promotion, so if my team doesn’t succeed I will step down because I would regard it as failure!”

‘Wolvesy’ will start with a revamped squad

Wolvesy can now look forward to next season because The Bluebirds are now back in the top echelon of Welsh Football and he is already plotting the way forward with three new recruits already in Cameron Keetch (a left-sided player), Corey Sheppard (an attacking midfielder), both of whom were previously with Cambrian and Clydach, plus Polish/American goalkeeper Wojciech Gajda. Another boost has been the return from Carmarthen Town of talented teenage defender Alaric Jones.
Hopefully there will be more new signings in the near future because Wayne knows how strong a squad he’ll need.

“It is especially so because of the fact that some teams we face have full-time squads and there will be a great deal of travel. Our only matches in South Wales will be Penybont, Barry Town and Cardiff Met along the M4 corridor, and up Cardigan Bay to Aberystwyth and Bala.”

High praise for all at The Bridge Meadow Stadium

David Hughes and Wayne JonesWayne has always been quick to sing the praises of his players, fellow coaching staff and especially David Hughes, the board of directors and supporters – but he is already enthusing about the new set-up to be established at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.
“I have already spoken to Robert Edwards, the new chairman, and he has loads of great ideas so we are off to a flying start – and when football restarts, whenever that is, our players and I need to hit the ground running.”

Playing days there – and obtaining his ‘B’ Licence badge

Wayne’s love of Haverfordwest County is obvious after he spent six years as a tough-tackling full back under the management of Deryn Brace.

“I had previously played for Carmarthen Town and played from 2002 to 2008, including the club’s only experience of Europe when we played against an Icelandic side in 2004.
“When I retired I decided to take my coaching badges after Derek Brazil had come in for his second spell as manager and asked me to be his assistant – and in the 2014 season I gained my ‘B’ Licence.
“I eventually took over as manager and after that epic 5-0 win at Aberdare we gained promotion but sadly dropped back down as manager a year later.

Off to Mid Wales – and the start of his ‘A’ Licence qualification

Wayne Jones and Sean Pemberton“I was offered the chance to be assistant manager at Aberystwyth Town and felt I had to go to gain more experience at the top level, something I was reluctant to do but I went with the blessing of the Haverfordwest County directors.
“I stayed almost two seasons there and they gave me help to take my ‘Grade ‘A’ qualification, which I have almost completed now, other than my final assessment, which halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It involved a full year’s commitment to the course at Dragon Park, near Newport, and we stayed at the nearby St Pierre Golf Resort alongside real characters like Peter Crouch, now a journalist and television personality, Steve Sidwell (Brighton) and Ryan Shawcross (Stoke).
“I also had mentoring meetings and had to show my capabilities in practical sessions before the final practical assignment.”

Recalled to The Bluebirds – and then back as manager

When he left Aberystwyth after the departure of his manager, Wayne decided to take a sabbatical but then was invited to join Sean Cresser and Tim Hicks on the management team back at the Bridge Meadow as a coach, a new role after so long at the helm.
“But I was great pals with both so I stuck at it – and circumstances changed somehow dramatically when I returned from a holiday abroad and found Sean Cresser had departed and he was invited to resume the manager’s role.
“I spoke at length with Sean and David (Hughes) before deciding to take over and I was pleased with the response from the players – and here I am today, at the start of a new adventure with Haverfordwest County – and we are all raring to go!”