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Aaron Downes returns to Torquay United as Gary Johnson’s assistant manager

Gary Johnson has appointed Aaron Downes as his assistant manager at Torquay United. 

Downes returns to Plainmoor after spending three years with the club from 2012-2015 making over 100 appearances.

He was United’s Player of the Season for 2012/13 and became a very popular figure at the club. He became Gary Johnson’s first signing as manager of Cheltenham Town in 2015.

He was appointed captain and became an integral part of the Robins’ National League promotion push. They clinched the championship in 2016 and after ending his playing career in 2018 joined Cheltenham’s academy and first team coaching setup.

“I’m very happy to have brought Aaron back to the Club,” said boss Johnson. “I think people respected his energy and his enthusiasm and his commitment in his playing days. He’s very similar now in his coaching.

“We had been working for four years together. We put a conference winning team together at Cheltenham – Cheltenham’s loss is our gain. It is something that enhances our staff and that’s what I want to do. I want to get as many people as I can on the playing staff and coaching staff that makes us better all-round.

“I’m grateful to the powers that be here, the owners, and the directors for allowing me to bring Aaron in.  It really does enhance the staff that we’ve already got because I’m very pleased with them. Aaron’s role will be as my assistant and first team coach.

“He knows how I work, he knows what I’m looking for. I would have done it on day one if I could have but I wasn’t able to do that. In the end I’ve got the person in that knows my philosophy, my way of doing things over the last four years. That will help while everybody else is learning what I do in the meantime.

“I think the supporters will be happy with Aaron coming in, knowing what he’s like – his personality and character. Some of the players will know him that have worked with him already. It was a no-brainer when he became available. It’s good for him and good for the Club. Onwards and upwards!”

Shaun Taylor has resumed his role as Head of Coaching with Torquay United’s youth programme. Johnson has valued his time as his assistant.

“Shaun Taylor will be looking after the academy’s U18s team but will also be a first team coach because I don’t want to lose him from the first team because he’s done very well. We’re trying to get everything a lot closer, the academy with the first team. Shaun will be that link between the two, and a very good link. We still need his experience and his knowledge around the first team. It’ll take a month to settle down; everyone knows what their roles are.

“I’m very happy with the staff. We’ve had a meeting this morning and we’ve given everyone their roles at the present time.”

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