Julie’s doing a great job at The Bridge Meadow Stadium!

Julie Le-Grice All five members of the Le-Grice family are involved in the football at Haverfordwest County but it is mum Julie whom we are delighted to feature today because she has taken over the reins as Hon Secretary at The Bridge Meadow Stadium and so is heavily involved in The Bluebirds’ exciting return to the JD Cymru.

Coincidentally, Julie is the only member of the family who doesn’t kick a ball on a regular basis because her husband David is involved as a coach within the club’s academy set-up whilst their sons Joshua (16), Daniel (15) and Mason (8) are all talented young players there – but more of them later.

Went to watch at The Bridge Meadow Stadium – and ended up as hon secretary!

Julie took on this demanding job on a voluntary basis last season after turning up in to watch her boys and Rob Davies, one of the directors, was chatting to her and asked if she would like to be involved, initially with popular long-time administrator Barry Vaughan.

“So I did start learning the ropes from Barry, who offered great advice throughout, and it is nice to know that he is still there to ask about things whenever I need it.

“It was at the time that the ‘Comet’ system introduced by Welsh Football at the higher levels was started and again I was lucky that Rob (Davies) was so good at setting a very complex system into motion.”

Work aplenty since ‘Comet’ has landed!

Perhaps ‘complex’ is a bit of an understatement because Julie carries on her work in that area knowing that if there was an administration error made it could result in players being unable to go onto the pitch!

“The work at the moment is absolutely crazy,” admitted Julie, “because I am also doubling up the pre-season work with the academy players, which means a double dose of attending The Bridge Meadow during evenings when pre-season training is taking place.

“I’m working with our assistant coach Mark Murison so that I can assist Dr Richard Thompson, our honorary medical officer, in testing players’ temperatures, making sure that they complete their health questionaires properly, and we have to make sure they are aware of our very strict rules on social distancing in the coronavirus pandemic. Risk assessment is already vital in this area.”

Julie is also responsible for all players’ registration, their contracts and licencing at the club, getting international clearance for players like Kelland Absolom, who was previously playing in goal in Sweden, and our new Polish/American goalkeeper Wojciech Gajda and then there’s the matter of arranging pre-season friendlies!

Rob Edwards and Julie Le-GriceDavid coaches – and Josh is a very good goalkeeper

It is perhaps fortunate that all of the Le-Grice family is so involved at The Bridge Meadow, with husband David having played football for Kilgetty in his younger days and now working as assistant coach with the under 16ss squad after helping with the under 8ss last campaign. It is also good to report that David is also involved in grass roots coaching of juniors at St Clears.

Oldest son Joshua plays as goalkeeper with the academy’s ‘Development’ team after joining the club two years ago and after Josh Hutchings did well to be signed by Swansea City he played up a year with the under 16s and helped them reach the Welsh Under 16s semi-finals before missing out to Merthyr. 

He was delighted to be offered an extended trial with Swansea City but after two weeks the lockdown came – but he is eager to train again there when clearance comes. At the moment he is also training with the first team squad to give him more specific experience.

Daniel loves his midfield role – and young Mason is already training with The Swans!

Middle son Daniel plays for his age group as a central defensive midfielder after starting out with The Bluebirds’’ under 14s and now playing for the under 16s. He also plays at that level for St Clears AFC and as well as his defensive duties he has also scored a few goals, including one direct from an inswinging corner!

Then there’s Mason as the youngster of the talented trio. He started out in a midfield role last season but then asked to try his hand in goal and he took to it like a duck to water. So much so that he was invited to go to a Swansea City under nine’s trial and has since made it into the squad.

It means three evenings a week of training alongside Saturday mornings, plus games on Sunday – which needs total commitment from Mason – and the rest of the family, especially chauffeur Julie!

And finally . . .

But she still finds time to fulfil her role with Haverfordwest County and readily admits that she enjoys the company of so many nice people, including players, coaches, other club officials and supporters.

“David Hughes was brilliant as chairman and I’ve already met the new chairman Rob Edwards personally, as well as in Zoom meetings.

“It is an exciting time for the club and I’m just very happy to be involved!”

It seems the admiration is mutual because David Hughes told us, “Julie’s arrival at the office at the Bridge Meadow Stadium has been like a breath of fresh air because she is not only enthusiastic but totally engaged in all the work she does.

“She is a very good team worker who has already proved her ability with the many initiatives brought on with our entry to the Premier League in Wales, and if she sees a job that needs doing she just gets on with it with real focus and with a smile on her face.

“We are really lucky to have Julie Le-Grice involved with us at Haverfordwest County.”

We could pay Julie no bigger compliment so all it remains for us to do is say, ‘Well done. Julie - and keep up your fantastic work!’