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2015/16 season

 

Dale Belford Takes The Valley Reins
 
Wed, 16 September 2015
Last Updated 9.28am
by JON VENNER

Rugby Town are pleased to announce the appointment of Dale Belford as the new first team manager.

Belford replaces the outgoing Gary Mills, after the rookie boss tendered his resignation following a disappointing start to the season which saw Town win just one of their opening seven league games in the South Division of the Evostik NPL.

Steve Cotterill & Dale Belford - Rugby Town FC
Dale Belford (right) was in charge of Tamworth on a permanent basis for 16 months until September 2014

The 48 year-old's last management role was at Conference club Tamworth, where he was in charge for sixteen months, and Belford will be again assisted at Rugby by Steve Farmer - who was also his right-hand man during his time at the Lamb Ground.

Both Belford and Farmer are ex-Valley players, with goalkeeper Belford featuring for the club in the late eighties as part of a long non-league playing career, after starting at Aston Villa as a youngster.

Farmer was part of Town's 2005-06 squad, before a bad injury ended his spell at Butlin Road, and the 35 year-old has since also held a management roles at Nuneaton Griff and Bedworth United - leading the Greenbacks to promotion from the Southern League Central Division in 2012.

Belford has also previously managed at Rugby's current level, with a two year stint at Atherstone, and took permanent charge at Tamworth between May 2013 and September 2014 after three previous spells as caretaker manager at the club.

Valley Director Neil Melvin welcomed his new manager: "Dale has great experience, and he will bring with him a good set of contacts and knowledge of the non-league pyramid as a whole.

"We thank Gary for his efforts during his short time at the club, and wish him well in the future.

"He didn't feel it was the right opportunity for him here anymore and that is disappointing, but it is better to establish that seven games into the season so we can make a fresh start with a new man in charge.

"The short term aim for Dale will of course be to steady the ship and hopefully guide us through the important FA Cup game next weekend.

"In the long term, we hope we can build a squad that can compete successfully in this division."

Mills' assistant manager Craig Adams has also left the club, although the ex-Bedford manager did take charge of the Valley side last Saturday that progressed into the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup thanks to a 3-2 victory at NPL Premier side Ilkeston.

Melvin continued: "We would like to thank Craig for staying on to look after the team at Ilkeston, and also acknowledge the great job done by coach Dan Gibson in taking charge at Belper on Tuesday evening."

24-year-old Gibson oversaw a youthful Town squad which included six teenagers qualify for the next round of the League Cup - where they will once more face Ilkeston.

First up for Belford is a league trip this Saturday to 3rd place Stocksbridge Park Steels, with another away game next Tuesday (22nd) at Market Drayton.

The new manager watched the Belper victory from the stands on Tuesday, before meeting his new players after the game.

He will take his first training session on Thursday ahead of the weekend trip to Yorkshire, with Town currently just one place off the bottom of the table with five points from their opening seven matches.

 
 

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